EU officials holds discussions with Chinese counterparts in Beijing on WTO reform

EU officials holds discussions with Chinese counterparts in Beijing on WTO reform

Today, in Beijing, EU and Chinese trade officials will move forward in their discussions of reforming the World Trade Organisation

The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters are pictured in Geneva

Photo: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Today, in Beijing, EU and Chinese trade officials will move forward in their discussions of reforming the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

In September, a Chinese delegation filed a retaliatory claim against the US through the WTO over anti-dumping duties and has continually threatened to levy tariffs on basic goods in response to those imposed by President Donald Trump.

The WTO is a key channel through which China must legitimately garner support from the international trading community to minimise economic pressure imposed by the US. Already, many EU economies and Japan have expressed discontent towards President Trump’s criticisms of the organisation, bolstering the likelihood that future proposals may lean more towards China than before.

Regardless, China will continue to face criticism of its economy’s dependence on state subsidies that ultimately undermine the country’s output. Among the most optimal ways for China to combat these pressures may be through supporting as many WTO reforms as possible, including changes in preferential treatment towards developing countries and resolution procedures, that coax the US to cooperate without compromising Chinese trade interests. Keeping warm relations with WTO partners will help keep the organisation intact and muster sympathy with China in the ongoing trade spat with the US.

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