China's Trade Disputes
David Conklin and Danielle Cadieux
Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario, Canada
Volume 4: 2009, pp. 5-26; ABSTRACT
When China applied to join the GATT [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade] in 1986, it was essentially a centrally planned economy with an opaque trading regime with high tariffs and a plethora of non-tariff barriers. Its main trading partners were socialist countries such as the USSR [Union of Soviet Socialist Republics] and Yugoslavia. It was not until 1992 when China declared its intention to establish a “socialist market economy” that it began to lower tariffs. At this time China unilaterally began to make substantial tariff cuts. The reduction of tariffs during the 1990s has resulted in China being perhaps one of the most open developing countries to join the WTO [World Trade Organization] in 2001. The simple average Chinese tariff rate was reduced from 42.9% in 1992 to 16.6% in 2001. After accession, the average tariff dropped to 9.8%.
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