China Seeks Recognition as Market Economy
China just marked 15 years since it became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
But on Monday, China launched a complaint at the WTO. Chinese officials are protesting the way the United States and European Union calculate prices for exported goods in trade disputes with their country.
China joined the WTO on December 11, 2001. On Sunday, part of China's agreement with the trade group came to an end.
Chinese officials say this means the nation, led by the Chinese Communist Party, should have market economy status, also known as MES. The term MES means that trade partners would have to accept prices reported by China's exporters.
For the past 15 years, China's trade partners have used what are called "surrogate prices." These prices are believed to take the real cost of Chinese exports into consideration. This may include government assistance that makes prices lower.
Market economy status makes it harder for other countries to punish a WTO trade partner with high tariffs.
However, the European Union, the United States and some other countries do not agree that China should be given MES. Japan and India also are unlikely to immediately consider China a market economy.
Concerns about selling products below the cost of production
China's economy is slowing now after expanding for about 25 years at a rate of 10 percent or more. This year, the world's second largest economy is expected to grow by less than seven percent.
China considers market economy status important to its efforts to increase or at least support trade levels.
But many experts say China heavily supports state-owned businesses by letting them cut prices and "dump" goods in foreign markets. The word dumping describes selling exports for a lower price than they are sold in their home market or below the cost of production.
Scott Kennedy is director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
He says, "The most neutral judge of whether China is complying with its WTO commitments is the WTO."
Out of 24 trade disputes, Kennedy says, decisions have been reached in 16. Of those cases, he notes, China has lost 13.
However, a recent editorial in the Communist Party's "People's Daily" said it is not an issue of letting China receive market economy status. The newspaper said it is the "obligation of the EU and other WTO members" to give China MES.
Free trade less popular around the world
The disagreement over China's position in the WTO adds to growing concerns about free trade around the world.
Ideas that some people consider protectionist have been voiced in Europe. They became widely reported after Britain voted to leave the European Union. U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has also threatened to place heavy import taxes on some Chinese goods.
Eli Friedman is an associate professor at Cornell University's Industrial and Labor Relations School. He says the possibility of protectionist measures in the West could be really bad news for China's exporters.
He says, "Many countries are now looking to China to push forward on free trade—an agenda that is increasingly unpopular among voters globally."
The WTO is expected to release more information about China's recent case in the coming days.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.European Union 欧盟
I'm very keen that the European Union should be as open as possible to trade from Russia.
2.free trade 自由贸易
I support your advocacy of free trade.
3.looking to 期待；指望
We're not looking to make a fortune.
4.trade disputes 贸易争端
The WTO provides a mechanism for resolving trade disputes.
1.Many countries are now looking to China to push forward on free trade—an agenda that is increasingly unpopular among voters globally."
push forward 推进
In accordance with the medium-and long-term development perspectives, China will push forward the market-based reform of interest rates.
I think you have to push forward and challenge yourself all the time.
2.However, a recent editorial in the Communist Party's "People's Daily" said it is not an issue of letting China receive market economy status.
market economy status 市场经济地位
We hopes US and Europe to recognize China's market economy status and lift ban on hi-tech exports.
China has been lobbying hard for market economy status.
然而周一，中国却向世贸组织提起诉讼 。中方此举意在反击美欧在与中国的贸易纠纷中对出口商品价格的计算方式 。
2001年12月11日，中国加入世贸组织 。周日，中国与世贸组织的部分入会协议已到期 。
中方称，这意味着世贸组织应给予中国市场经济地位（MES） 。“市场经济地位”是指贸易伙伴须以中国企业的价格和成本为基础 。
然而，欧盟、美国和联合其他国家拒绝承认中国的市场经济地位 。日本与印度也不会立刻承认中国的市场经济地位 。
中国经济以10%甚至更高的速度扩张近25年后，如今正在放缓 。今年，中国作为世界第二大经济体预计增长不足7% 。
很多专家认为，中国大力支持国有企业并允许其低价向国外市场倾销商品 。倾销是指企业在国外出售产品的价格低于国内市场的价格或低于生产成本 。
斯科特·肯尼迪（Scott Kennedy）是华盛顿战略与国际研究中心中国商业与政治经济项目的主任 。
肯尼迪称，其中24起贸易争端中，有16起已作出裁决 。在已裁决的争端中，中国输掉了13起 。
然而最近，中国《人民日报》的一篇社论称，赋予中国市场经济地位并非一项具有争论的议题 。该报称，赋予中国市场经济地位是欧盟和其它世贸组织成员国的义务 。
有人认为，欧洲贸易保护主义已有所抬头 。而英国公投脱欧后，贸易保护主义开始常见于报端 。就连美国候任总统川普也放话要对中国某些商品征收高额关税 。
伊莱·弗里德曼（Eli Friedman）是康奈尔大学产业和劳动关系学院的副教授 。他指出，对中国的出口商来说，西方即将采取的贸易保护措施可能是个坏消息 。