China joining the WTO : « overall, it was a good day for the rest of the world »

In a recent interview with China Daily in Brussels, Lamy dismissed some opinions voiced in the US that it was a bad idea to let China join the WTO.

« Of course it was a good idea-a good idea and it has worked extremely well, » said Lamy, a French national who has also served as European commissioner for trade.

Before China joined the WTO, the country’s trade surplus was 8 to 10 percent of gross national product, but this has since fallen to almost zero, literally meaning that its imports have increased more than its exports.

« So overall, it was a good day for the rest of the world, » Lamy said.

He said joining the WTO had provided China-which was developing an export-driven economy at the time-with insurance against protectionism. That was why Beijing accepted specific conditions that were more demanding than for comparable developing countries at the time, such as India and South Africa.

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