The United States government has continuously and unapologetically given gross subsidies to countless industries in an attempt to appease lobbyist and give these industries an unfair competitive advantage. The WTO has historically condemned these actions like Brazil’s complaint of the US over-subsidizing their corn and soybean industry as well as Airbus’s complaint of NASA giving serious technological aid to Boeing. Now however the tables have turned as the US tries to hypocritically condem China for advantages they give their domestic industries and use the WTO as a platform for the attacks. Rueters explains:
China has rejected U.S. criticisms during a review of its trade policies at the World Trade Organization and used the occasion to suggest many U.S. accusations were not only groundless but in some areas hypocritical.
U.S. Ambassador to the WTO Michael Punke leveled a wide-ranging salvo of criticisms during the two-day Trade Policy Review (TPR), which every WTO member has to undergo on a periodic basis, and said China was falling back into a “tighter embrace of state capitalism”.
But China swatted aside many of the criticisms, which included complaints about its failure to disclose subsidies and a lack of transparency and intellectual property enforcement.
China’s Assistant Minister of Commerce Yu Jianhua said he regretted that during the TPR process some WTO members had deemed China was practicing state capitalism.
“The term cannot be found in … WTO documents. It has nothing to do with the TPR or WTO rules. We strongly believe TPR should not be abused for the purpose of domestic politics,” he said.
In the internal WTO document seen by Reuters on Thursday, some questions submitted by the United States elicited barbed comments. Others, such as the U.S. allegation that the state bodies overseeing China’s economy provide economic support to national champions in key industries, prompted flat denials.
A U.S. demand for more transparency fell on stony ground, with China saying the commitments to transparency cited by the United States were outside the WTO’s remit.
“The U.S. never fulfills any of the transparency commitments made to China,” it said.
Quizzed about its apparent failure to provide ample time for other countries to comment on changes to food safety laws, China said: “The problems raised … do not exist. In addition, China has noticed that the U.S. has failed to provide ample time … We hope that the U.S. could give more attention to honoring its own transparency obligations.”
In response to a U.S. complaint about Chinese farmers getting unfair advantage over importers, because they do not have to pay value-added tax if they sell direct to consumers, China said other countries did the same thing.