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Trade Disputes Between China and the United States: Growing Pains so Far, Worse Ahead?

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Clyde Hufbauer

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

  • Jared C. Woollacott

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Abstract

This study covers the history of Sino-US trade relations with a particular focus on the past decade, during which time each has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Providing a brief history of 19th and 20th century economic relations, this paper examines in detail the trade disputes that have arisen between China and the United States over the past decade, giving dollar estimates for the trade flows at issue. Each country has partaken in their share of protectionist measures, however, US measures have been characteristically defensive, protecting declining industries, while Chinese measures have been characteristically offensive, promoting nascent industries. We also cover administrative and legislation actions within each country that have yet to be the subject of formal complaint at the WTO. This includes an original and comprehensive quantitative summary of US Section 337 intellectual property rights cases. While we view the frictions in Sino-US trade a logical consequence of the rapid increase in flows between the two countries, we caution that each country work within the WTO framework and respect any adverse decisions it delivers so that a protracted protectionist conflict does not emerge. We see the current currency battle as one potential catalyst for such conflict if US and Chinese policymakers fail to manage it judiciously.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jared C. Woollacott, 2010. "Trade Disputes Between China and the United States: Growing Pains so Far, Worse Ahead?," Working Paper Series WP10-17, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp10-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Sean Lowry, 2012. "US Tire Tariffs: Saving Few Jobs at High Cost," Policy Briefs PB12-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    2. Zhuang Wei, 2011. "An Empirical Study of China's Participation in the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism: 2001-2010," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 218-246, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agreement; Anti Dumping; Antidumping; Commodity Agreements; Dumping; Duty; Export Promoting; Export Restrictions; Exports; Free Trade; GATT; GATT WTO; General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; Import; Import Restricted; Import Subsidies; Import Subsidy; Intellectual Property Rights; International Agreement; International Trade Agreements; International Trade Organizations; Liberalization; MFN; Multilateralism; Non Tariff; Nontariff Barrier; Openness; Optimal Trade Policy; Protectionism; Protectionist; Quotas; Sanctions; Services; Smoot Hawley; Subsidies; Tariff; Trade; Trade Agreements; International Trade.;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • N71 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N72 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N75 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Asia including Middle East

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