China’s WTO membership is a farce

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China’s WTO membership is a farce

Youngstown Vindicator – Ohio businesses, we were told, would gain new access to Chinese markets through the removal of trade barriers, increased transparency, and more stringent protection of intellectual property rights. China promised to follow the rule of law and to reform its legal system, and, in turn, would gain new access to global markets.

Ten years later, Ohio workers have seen thousands of jobs shipped to China — factories in Ohio have moved to Wuhan and Shenzhen, with the final products sold back to the U.S. American manufacturers have been undermined by a flood of cheap Chinese imports priced artificially low. Chinese citizens face poor work conditions and continual human rights violations — and the country’s sole Nobel Peace Prize winner is languishing in prison.

The big winner? The multinational corporations that have offshored jobs and the Chinese communist government and the apparatchiks they have enriched.

Gaming the system

And while Ohio companies and workers are following World Trade Organization rules — intended to provide a common set of law to ensure a level playing field for global trade — the Chinese are gaming the system.

The list of China’s WTO violations is long. Estimated losses due to intellectual property theft from U.S. firms approaches $50 billion, with those same firms reporting that better enforcement could lead to almost one million American jobs. Chinese authorities continue to stall on transparency, heavily subsidize exports, and hoard rare earth materials needed for advanced manufacturing. We examined these issues at a hearing I chaired last week on China’s broken WTO promises as part of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

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