The WTO Transparency Obligations and China
The Journal of Comparative Law, 2018, 12 (2), 329-355
28 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2017 Last revised: 5 Mar 2018
Date Written: November 15, 2017
When it acceded to the WTO in 2001, China accepted comprehensive transparency obligations as well as substantive commitments covering both market access and rules issues. Initially designed to deal with the opaque trade law regime, the transparency obligations were also expected to help democratize the legislative process and promote the development of the rule of law in China. Now that more than 15 years have passed, have the transparency obligations fulfilled their original promises? This article answers the question by reviewing how the transparency obligations have worked in practice. It notes that, while transparency has improved in some areas, it is still lacking in other areas. The article discusses the reasons for the uneven progress, and concludes with some advice on how transparency may be further enhanced.
Keywords: WTO, China, Transparency, Notifications
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