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Including China And Russia In The WTO Was A Mistake, Says Trump Administration

Including China And Russia In The WTO Was A Mistake, Says Trump Administration
China and Russia have failed to transform in to market based economies and therefore the United States believes that it had made some mistakes in including the two countries in the world trade organization (WTO, said the Trump administration.
Two reports were sent to the Congress on Friday where the U.S. trade representative wrote that the commitments that China and Russia had made while joining the WTO of aligning their economies have seen little progress being made on that front.
 “The United States is committed to working with all WTO members who share our goal of using the WTO to create and enforce rules that lead to more efficient markets, reciprocal benefits and greater wealth for our citizens,” wrote U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
“However, as these two reports show, the global trading system is threatened by major economies who do not intend to open their markets to trade and participate fairly."
“This practice is incompatible with the market-based approach expressly envisioned by WTO members and contrary to the fundamental principles of the WTO," he continued.
While China has attempted to become “a dominant player in international trade”, the country has continued to maintain a state led economy with the aim of fostering and developing its domestic industries while the companies from the United States and other global trading partners suffered, in the 17 years that the communist country has been a member of the WTO, said the China report.
“Given these facts, it seems clear that the United States erred in supporting China’s entry into the WTO on terms that have proven to be ineffective in securing China’s embrace of an open, market-oriented trade regime,” the report says.
The report says that by this time, it has become clear that the rules of the WTO are not enough for driving China and its economy towards a more market driven economy despite the fact that the U.S. has been attempting to coax China to adhere to the WTO principles of open trade.
After Donald Trump became the President of the U.S., his tough rhetoric on trade issues against China had created tension between the two countries even as Trump has often talked about the strong personal relationships that he has with the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Cases are being lined up against a number of import areas from China including steel, aluminum and solar panels by the U.S. Commerce Department.
“The United States will take all other steps necessary to rein in harmful state-led, mercantilist policies and practices pursued by China, even when they do not fall squarely within WTO disciplines,” the report said.
The Russia report from the trade representative said that WTO rules were also not followed by the country. Importing into Russia "remains a difficult task", the report noted.
"So far, Russia’s actions strongly indicate that it has no intention of complying with many of the promises it made to the United States and other WTO members," the report said. 
"It was a mistake to allow Russia to join the WTO if it is not fully prepared to live by WTO rules."
While Russia is a new entrant to the WTO having joined in 2012, China has been a WTO member since 2001.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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