Chinese voices that oppose reform grow louder – Susan Schwab

From The Financial Times:

One of the most important events in modern economic history occurred five years ago on Monday when China joined the World Trade Organisation. This anniversary provides the opportunity to take stock – through a congressionally mandated report issued on Monday by the office of the US Trade Representative – of China’s integration into the global economy and its compliance with obligations.

The record is profoundly mixed. China has moved with resolve to reform some of its economic and governmental structures over the past five years. It has enacted or revised over 1,000 laws and regulations to help bring its trading system into compliance with WTO rules. It has also reduced tariffs on goods of great importance to US industry from an average of 25 per cent in 1997 to 7 per cent today, with similarly significant reductions for agricultural products.

In addition, it has reduced or eliminated numerous non-tariff barriers, increased market access for international service providers and improved the transparency of its governmental procedures. These steps have expanded economic growth in both countries and contributed to a roughly 190 per cent increase in US goods exports to China over the past five years. Today, China is America’s fourth largest export market – up from 15th a decade ago. [Full Text]

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