WASHINGTON–Witnesses challenged China’s compliance with the World Trade Organization standards and international trade rules at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
China joined the WTO 12 years ago, and soon became the world’s largest exporter.
But the committee witnesses outlined the complaints against China, ranging from business practices to labor rights. By presenting specific problems and demands, they hope to upgrade China’s adherence to international trading rules.
China already has a large role in the economy of the the United States economy as both a competitor and trading partner.
“The WTO system is intended to encourage trade and investment, break down artificial trade barriers, and promote efficiency and increase wealth for all,” said David Horn, Executive Vice President of AK Steel Holding Corporation.
Horn, who has been with AK Steel since 2000 and is also the firm’s general counsel, wants to see China fulfill the responsibilities that come with being a member of the WTO.
“China has embraced the opportunities offered by the WTO membership, but not the obligations,” Horn asserted.
Fellow witness Elizabeth Drake, a partner of Stewart and Stewart, agreed that China has not engaged in balanced and fair trading practices.
“China is failing to comply with its WTO commitments,” Drake said. “Holding China accountable to its WTO commitments should be one of the very top trade priorities of the U.S. government.”
A solution was proposed. More funding the Office of the United States Trade Representative could lead to more acknowledgment of complaints and more push behind enforcing the rules.” Enforcement resources and intensified enforcement efforts would deliver significant benefits to U.S. firms, workers, and communities,” Drake said.