EU Trade Commissioner: China Must Work on WTO Reform
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom urged China to cooperate on WTO reform. Speaking at a conference in Paris on "A WTO for the 21st Century" she said, that China must make concessions in negotiating reform of the World Trade Organization or risk seeing the United States turning its back on the current system.
Cecilia Malmstrom also said “China has won a lot from the WTO system”. And the EU calls on China to “show leadership and to engage with us to reform and to update the system, to create a level playing field.” She warned that “otherwise the US will create a level playing field outside the system”.
She also noted, that the problems between the US and China could not be resolved within the WTO, but required political momentum by the G7 and G20 groups of countries.
The World Trade Organization has overseen international trade since 1995, allowing its members to challenge each others' trade practices and obliging them to be transparent about their policies and to keep tariffs and subsidies within agreed levels. Still, the WTO has failed to evolve to reflect the economic rise of China, creating friction with the United States which says China is cheating by giving state firms illicit subsidies and stealing technology.