WORLD WTO chief: Targeting China with trade reforms will not work


WTO chief: Targeting China with trade reforms will not work


16:31, April 29, 2021

Photo: World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends an interview at the WTO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, April 12, 2021. /Reuters

China will be more willing to participate in global trade reforms if it does not feel being targeted by other countries, said the World Trade Organization (WTO) chief.

Anxious about China's powerful state-owned enterprises, the United States, European Union and Japan are pushing for curbs on industrial subsidies they say distort the global economy, according to Reuters.

However, their proposals need to be unanimously approved by all 164 members of the WTO.

"We also have to show China is not being targeted," WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told a conference hosted by the European Commission on Monday. "When China feels it is being targeted, and it's only about China, you get a lot of resistance."

The WTO head considered the dealings she has had with China "very constructive," saying that China would be more receptive if it saw the WTO addressing other types of subsidies.

China has said it would be more ready to discuss industrial subsidies if talks are also extended to agricultural subsidies prevalent in the West.

The global agricultural subsidies were around $1 trillion per year and could reach $2 trillion by 2030, said Okonjo-Iweala.

Currently, the WTO is working with other parties on a study on overall subsidies to "put some objective facts on the table," Okonjo-Iweala said.

(With input from Xinhua)

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