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China's export restriction policies: complying with ‘WTO plus’ or undermining multilateralism




Export restrictions imposed on various food products and natural resources have been subject to extensive public attention. Most recently, China's restrictions of its exports of certain minerals and rare earth metals have led to heated debates. The United States (US), European Union (EU), and Mexico have already filed a WTO dispute case against China on this matter. This paper describes the policy objectives and the global welfare implications of export restrictions. It summarizes the relevant WTO regulation, and offers a detailed analysis of the China–Raw Materials case which is before the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). It argues that although export restrictions is arguably an area of ‘under-regulation’ or ‘regulatory deficiency’ in the WTO law, it is strongly biased against the late accession Members, including China. Yet, the way that China institutes its export restrictions raises serious questions about its role in the multilateral trading system, which it relies on for its economic prosperity. Hence, this is an area where China is likely to feel the implications of its so-called ‘WTO-plus’ commitments on its domestic and trade policies.

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  • Karapinar, Baris, 2011. "China's export restriction policies: complying with ‘WTO plus’ or undermining multilateralism," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 389-408, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:wotrrv:v:10:y:2011:i:03:p:389-408_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
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    7. Lloyd, Peter J. & Croser, Johanna L. & Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Global Distortions to Agricultural Markets: New Indicators of Trade and Welfare Impacts, 1955 to 2007," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 48049, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eisenbarth, Sabrina, 2017. "Is Chinese trade policy motivated by environmental concerns?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 74-103.
    2. Cui, Lian-Biao & Peng, Pan & Zhu, Lei, 2015. "Embodied energy, export policy adjustment and China's sustainable development: A multi-regional input-output analysis," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 457-467.
    3. Holzer, Kateryna & Karapinar, Baris, 2012. "Legal Implications of the Use of Export Taxes in Addressing Carbon Leakage: Competing Border Adjustment Measures," Papers 215, World Trade Institute.

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