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Book Chapter

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According to the Marrakesh Agreement, the WTOhas three main functions: trade negotiation,trade policy review, and settlement of tradedisputes. As a new Member, China found that itsability to participate in the first two activitieswas subject to severe constraints. For tradepolicy review, the restriction is formalizedthrough the Transitional Review Mechanismin Section 18 of the Accession Protocol, whichmandates Chinese commitments to be reviewedonce every year for the first eight years, with afinal review in the tenth year after accession.One may argue that such a review is differentfrom the normal trade policy review in theWTO, as both the scopes of the review andthe bodies conducting them are different.Moreover, in reality, the additional burdenmade it difficult for China to participate innormal trade policy review activities. Duringthe 15-year long accession negotiations, theexisting WTO Members pressed China for farreachingcommitments in each area of theWTO mandate. As a result, China’s concessionson both trade in goods and services greatlyexceed those of other WTO Members, most ofwhich have not changed since the conclusion ofthe Uruguay Round. Therefore, when the DohaRound was launched, China could not participateas effectively as other WTO Members as mostof its bargaining chips had largely been spentduring its accession process. This is why China’snegotiating proposals in the Doha Round mostlycover systematic issues rather than substantivemarket access.


Dispute Resolution and Arbitration

Research Areas

Intellectual Property and Technology-related Law


A Decade in the WTO: Implications for China and Global Trade Governance


Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Christophe Bellmann and Shuaihua Cheng

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International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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