Assessments

Europe Considers a New Trading Status for China

Feb 8, 2016 | 09:30 GMT
A car makes its way down an assembly line in a Qingdao factory, in eastern China, on July 15.
(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The European Union will have to decde this year whether to grant China market economy status at the World Trade Organization (WTO). A market economy, as the name implies, is an economy that is driven by market forces, such as businesses, banks and consumers. Conversely, a non-market economy -- China's status since it joined the WTO in 2001 -- is an economy that is controlled by institutions other than the market, such as a central government. Part of the WTO's purpose is to give market economies the means to rectify potential price disparities set by a government. China is on the cusp of changing its status from non-market to market economy, and the countries of Europe, especially those with struggling steel sectors, will be choosing whether to support the change or not....

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