China and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade

Author Name ARAKI Ichiro  (Director of Research, Senior Fellow)
Creation Date/NO. July 2002 02-E-008
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China became a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2001, after more than 15 years of difficult negotiations. This paper reviews the negotiating history of China's accession with special emphasis on the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, which deals with standards and technical regulations as well as conformity assessment procedures. Because of the unique domestic system in China, the negotiations regarding the TBT Agreement posed special difficulties both for China and the existing Members of the WTO. A close examination of the negotiation process reveals that China's negotiating position was a sophisticated one, with full understanding of the cutting edge of the developing jurisprudence in the WTO.