World Trade Organization: China's Membership Status and Normal Trade Relations Issues
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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China is the worlds largest economy that is not subject to the World Trade Organizations WTO trade liberalizing requirements. Since 1986, China has been in negotiations to join, or accede to, the World Trade Organization and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The United States has taken a leading role in these negotiations, which have been taking place on two tracks-bilateral and multilateral negotiations-over these 14 years. The bilateral negotiations are designed to secure Chinas commitment to remove specific market access barriers and open Chinas domestic market to more foreign goods and services. The focus of the multilateral negotiations is to ensure that China will adopt all the rules, practices, and obligations required by WTO agreements to improve its general trade regime. Because of your continued interest in these issues, we are providing an update on our past work on 1 the status of the negotiations for China to join the World Trade Organization, 2 the results of the negotiations as compared to U.S. objectives for these negotiations, and 3 trade and legal considerations about granting China permanent normal trade relations status.
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