Business, Finance & Economics

China and the WTO: Ten years later


Dancers perform a dragon dance on the Great Wall in Badaling, China, about 50 miles north of Beijing on August 5, 2008.


Carl De Souza

A decade ago, there was plenty of worry inside and outside of China about Beijing's then-pending entry into the World Trade Organization.

The fear: increased competition from foreign markets would decimate Chinese industries, and gut many state-owned companies, after Chinese leaders relaxed or eliminated some 7,000 tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers. 

So what really happened?

China did fine, as its economy boomed famously throughout the decade. 

Many Americans did fine, too, particularly those who pieced together smart foreign direct investment opportunities in China (returns there were 13.5 percent, according to K.C. Fung at UC Santa Cruz whose economic research in this area is cited by The Economist).

And just about everyone is a bit frustrated by the whole thing. 

For some deep reads on one of the most important topics in global trade over the past decade, check out The Economist, which published two brainy pieces on the subject.

The first deals with the economics of the move.

The second tackles the (equally important) political implications of China's entry into the WTO. 

And for the view from Beijing, here's GlobalPost Senior Correspondent Kathleen E. McLaughlin's smart analysis.

Kathleen's money (and rosy) quote comes from WTO Director Pascal Lamy:

"WTO membership helped the Chinese government to anchor the reform and opening-up initiated by former leader Deng Xiaoping by binding China into the global trading system. These reforms improved the efficiency of the Chinese economy and boosted growth."

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