U.S. Criticizes WTO Policy That Gives China Preferred Treatment

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. is stepping up its involvement in the debate over reforming the World Trade Organization and questioned the Geneva-based body’s policies that allow China to benefit from rules meant to bolster poorer nations.

The U.S. published a paper Wednesday that criticized WTO regulations that permit some countries to claim special “development” rights that include exemptions from WTO disciplines such as how much a country may subsidize its farmers, according to a copy of the report seen by Bloomberg. 

The U.S. said the WTO’s policy of self-declared development status has put the WTO “on a path to failed negotiations” and “institutional irrelevance,” according to the report.

The U.S. paper marks the latest volley in U.S. effort to reform the trade organization. The U.S. paper will add to the growing discussion of how countries can modernize and strengthen the WTO’s rules in order to ensure it can effectively address the concerns of the modern global trade environment.

U.S. trade officials plan to discuss the paper during next week’s WTO meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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