GENEVA (Reuters) – China plans to propose reforms of the World Trade Organization, China’s ambassador to the WTO Zhang Xiangchen said, while warning fellow WTO members against seeing reform as a chance to put China in a straitjacket.
Zhang was speaking at a lunch during a WTO conference in Paris on Friday, where diplomats and officials discussed ideas about reforming the WTO, largely driven by U.S. complaints that the WTO has failed to police suspected Chinese rule-breaking.
Support - Brussels - Tokyo - Washington - WTO
With support from Brussels and Tokyo, Washington wants the WTO to crack down on subsidies for state-backed enterprises, overcapacity in steel and other basic industries, and on the practice of forcing investors to hand over valuable technology.
China is its chief suspect on all three counts.
United - States - Allies - Appointments - WTO
But the United States has parted with its allies by blocking appointments to the WTO’s Appellate Body, whose judges it blames for hampering the U.S. war on unfair trade practices.
The rest of the WTO fears the United States is undermining a global check on protectionism. The EU and Canada have both launched reform initiatives to deal with the U.S. concerns.
Zhang - China - EU - Proposal - Appellate
Zhang said China had decided to co-sponsor the EU’s proposal on reforming the Appellate Body, and he and U.S. Ambassador Dennis Shea were members of a high-level working group that China and the EU had set up.
“We will also put forward China’s WTO reform proposal soon,” he...
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