USTR at time of China’s WTO accession confirms that China has not met WTO commitments

which led to current U.S.-China trade dispute.

Barshefsky, USTR from 1997 – 2001, who led the US side in the negotiations on China’s WTO accession, said that as early as 2006, China turned its back on WTO commitments for robust market changes and adopted a model that she described as “significantly state-run” and that discriminated against foreign companies.

“It means that volatility will be a hallmark of China’s relationship with the US and with other countries,” said Barshefsky, now a senior international partner with the WilmerHale, a Washington-based law firm. “That’s not good for anyone, and it’s certainly not good for China.”

In a wide-ranging interview about China’s economic growth and relations with Washington, Barshefsky blamed Beijing’s deviation from market principles and inaction by previous US administrations for helping to lead to the current impasse.

“The failing has been really twofold: one that … in 2007 or so subsequently China’s economy and economic policy began to diverge from market economics,” she said.

“The second failing was on the part of the US and China’s trading partners for not more carefully enforcing the WTO agreement, including very special and unique provisions in their agreement that pertained only to China.”



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