News of an agreement on China's accession to the WTO is interesting but raises serious questions. The reports I've seen say nothing about the crucial issues of implementation and compliance.
Repeatedly, the Chinese government has signed agreements -- on trade, on proliferation, and on human rights -- but has not honored them. Given the size of China's economy and its pattern of refusing to play by the rules, a WTO agreement that is not enforceable will wreak havoc on the international trade regime.
While we must not exaggerate the benefits to the U.S. economy of China's WTO accession, a well-conceived, commercially acceptable, and enforceable agreement would be a marked improvement over China's wholesale violation of international trade practices. It remains to be seen whether this agreement is well-conceived and enforceable. I am concerned that the Administration may accept an agreement without full assurances on compliance and implementation in an attempt to redeem its failed China policy.
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