State Trading and the Problem of Market Access

The final benefit of WTO membership is to be able to participate in the process of “setting rules for the game” instead of merely being a rule follower. Given the nature of economic competition in the current post–Cold War period, conflicts among WTO members are growing, calling for more unilateral and bilateral actions. The WTO, as a multilateral trade organization, has not yet been very powerful in resolving international trade conflicts.

For James Petras WTO membership means: "The imperial enticement strategy involves large-scale loans and easy financing to create bonds with Western financial institutions and capitalist financial rules; easy market access to facilitate exports and direct foreign investment to exploit labor and sell back to Euro-US markets through these policies, a major foreign investment foothold is established and significant investment ties are established within China with local business elites. Technological exchanges pre-empt autonomous local high tech innovations.

" 19 Also “membership will also bring about a lessening of the administrative and ideological control of the Chinese Communist Party and a lessening of the planned economy. It will strengthen the rule of law and good governance. It will increase pluralism in society. It will bring about increasing influence of foreign values. It might even be the case that interdependence and globalisation are conducive to a peaceful power transition. An interconnected world will need more regulation of the world economy.

To be part of the WTO means to be part of rule making. ”20 The market distortions of the centrally planned economic system were reduced and many tariff and non-tariff trade barriers were removed. The economy became more open and integrated with the world economy through a growing private sector and increasing foreign trade and investment. It should be reemphasized that China's membership serves not only its own long-term interests but also the institutional interest of the WTO. With China excluded, the WTO can hardly claim to be global.

The size of the Chinese market and the accelerating speed of market access into China by the major trading powers should not be overlooked. For example, trade between the United States and China grows. 21 Many American products, such as Motorola's cellular phone, Microsoft's software, and Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, already reach millions of Chinese families. It is good strategy for Western economic powers to tie China's economy into the WTO's regulation structure for the promotion of trade liberalization in China.


1. Wang, Zhi, and Tuan F. C. “The Impact of China's and Taiwan's WTO Membership in World Trade—A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis. ” American Journal of Chinese Studies III, no. 2 (1996): 177–204. 2. McKenzie, Paul D. “China's Application to the GATT: State Trading and the Problem of Market Access. ” World Trade Journal 24 (1990): 133–158. 3. White III, L. Policies of Chaos: The Organizational Causes of Violence in China's Cultural Revolution, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.