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'Surrogate country' practice to expire


12-11-2016 05:33 BJT

let's get over some background to better explain these technical trade concepts. When China joined the WTO, it agreed to let members treat it as a surrogate. That gives trade partners the advantage of using a third country's prices to gauge whether China sells its goods at below market value.

That clause is due to expire now, after 15 years, and China has asked countries to abide by the agreement. However, there's a lot at stake for China. Some countries confuse the "surrogate country" practice with a "market-economy status". More than 90 countries -- like Russia, Australia and New Zealand -- confirm China's status as a market economy.

But big trading partners like the US, European Union and Japan question if China has done enough to qualify for market economy status, especially in the steel industry. According to Article 15 of the accession protocols in China's WTO agreement, after Dec. 11. members can no longer use use the "surrogate country" practice -- regardless of whether a country is considered a market economy.

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