What Happened: A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel has reportedly sided with the European Union in a case against China, saying the country does not automatically qualify for non-market economy status, according to sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported April 18. The WTO ruling will be preliminary and can be appealed in the organization's appellate body.
Why It Matters: If confirmed, the ruling would set a potential precedent for a separate case between the United States and China, which has not progressed to a WTO panel yet. If Beijing loses both cases, it would allow Washington and Brussels to continue treating the country as a free market economy, which would make it easier to enact anti-dumping and countervailing duties on China.
Background: The WTO dispute dates back to China's accession to the organization in 2001, which allowed the country to join with a special non-market economy status for 15 years. After the deadline passed, the European Union and the United States said they would no longer recognize China as a non-market economy, which led Beijing to file two WTO cases.
- The WTO Protects Its Power in a Landmark National Security Case (April 5, 2019)
- As the U.S.-China Tech War Rages on, the Electronics Industry Braces for Impact (March 29, 2019)
- Trump and the WTO's Uncertain Future (Nov. 1, 2018)