US destroys world trading system: a critical analysis

By Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan | Gwadar Pro Aug 13, 2023

Editor's Note: The author is Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad and Regional Expert on China, BRI & CPEC. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) report on the US' fulfillment of its WTO obligations for the first time, rightly slammed USA for manipulating double standards industrial policy and disrupting global industrial and supply chain, imposition of unilateral socio-economic, technological and trade sanctions, geopolitical bullying and unjustified economic protectionism hurting the pace, scope and utility of international economy and trade mechanism.

It is a comprehensive and rational presentation demonstrating the US’s proliferating dominion that is obsessively self-centric always prioritize its interests on the cost of sullying the world’s economic/trade multilateralism and resultant eliciting conflict and division.

Unfortunately, one of the main agendas of the US economic madness has been swelling economic coercion against China. It seems that China sends a timely warning to US ahead of its Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s prospective visit to China during this month thus simply conveying Washington to return to the right track of the WTO-based global system as a first step to repair bilateral relations. 

The Chinese report rightly emphasis that the US being the largest economy as well as main beneficiary of the multilateral trading system should fully comply with the rules and honor its commitments, to ensure the multilateral trading system plays a bigger role in global governance. 

In this regard, highlighting of the US chronic methods of national security, human rights and forced technology transfer as excuses to take unilateral measures against other WTO members through imposing tariffs arbitrarily and abusing trade remedies is the essence of this well-prepared report. Thus it exposes the US exploitative course of actions against international trading system causing high inflation, price hike and slowdown prospects of quick economic recovery.

Unfortunately, the US the white elephant of the world has been preferably using its economic and trade comparative advantages to forcefully dedicate other members of the WTO to obey the hidden goals of its foreign policy and subsequently, blindly follow unreasonable demands, all of which amount to it being a perpetrator of unilateralist bullying.

The report systematically pinpoints the US exclusive and discriminatory subsidy policies on a large scale, export controls and other harmful means to restrict the industrial development of other members, which qualifies it as the biggest manipulator of double standards in industrial policies causing widening gaps of socio-economic prosperity in the world.

The Chinese MOFCOM report is a true evaluation of the US economic discriminatory policies and hegemonic trading practices based of solid evidences of a lengthy list of Washington's bullying ways and means ranging from the recent curbs on Chinese high-tech investment, pressuring its allies to join its semiconductor ban against China, the inflation act that siphons its partners' competitive tech industries, to the prolonged trade war the US waged against China five years ago.  

It is also a warning as the US shows no sign of scaling back from unilateral sanctions against Chinese industries Thus US is the main culprit of the global economic slowdown, disturbance in industrial supply chains, food & energy insecurity, inflationary trends and price hike in the world. 

The US has undoubtedly undermined the core values and basic principles of the multilateral trading system, wreaked havoc on the reform and development of the WTO, and has hurt the common interests of members thus rightly urging the US to correct its wrongdoings.

On the contrary, China has been making significant contributions to the WTO since joining the organization in 2001. It has wholeheartedly supported the multilateral trading system with practical actions, fully fulfilled its commitment to the WTO and promoted the construction of an open world economy while offering new development opportunities based on its latest development. 

It is suggested that regional as well as international business community, investors, policy makers, regulators and the governments should pay close attention to the impact of US actions that undermine the multilateral trading system, and jointly urging the US to abide by WTO rules and fulfill its commitments.

Besides, the US policy makers should honestly revise their policies about tariff and non-tariff barriers, industrial subsidies, agricultural subsidies, trade remedies, standards and technical regulations, trade in services and intellectual property rights so that true spirits of international trading mechanism prevail spreading progress and prosperity.

Moreover, key members of the WTO should play an exemplary role and promote the strengthening of solidarity and cooperation among all parties to jointly safeguard the authority and effectiveness of the multilateral trading system.

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