Dec 14, 2017 | 21:56 GMT
Why the United States Is Wary of the WTO


Trade representatives gather in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization.

Trade representatives gather in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization.

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow. 

on any given day:どの日(で)も、来る日も来る日も

The end of the Cold War brought about a different view of free trade in the United States. Through almost 50 years of negotiations, the United States spearheaded the establishment of the World Trade Organization as Washington sought to shape the global trading regime — and the trading order in the West — as a bulwark against communism. But times have changed, and amid a frontal assault by the United States this week, the WTO's 11th Ministerial Conference came to an undignified end Dec. 13 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

frontal:a frontal attack 〘軍〙正面攻撃
Ministerial:大臣の; 内閣の, 政府の; 行政上の.
undignified:威厳のない; みっともない.

Since the founding of the WTO and the signing of NAFTA, free trade has polarized the United States. Democrats have pushed for stronger standards in agreements, while Republicans have fought to link trade to national security. However, as the steadfast promotion of free trade became a toxic political liability, President Donald Trump managed to merge the Republican foreign policy approach with traditional Democratic ideals. And while his policy moves may be an overcorrection, the underlying U.S. political tensions are real. 

national security:国の安全、国家安全保障
steadfast:不動の, 揺るがない, しっかりした

The new global order on trade is also a far cry from the one defined by the Cold War. Virtually every country has adopted a number of free-market principles. The Russian economy is mostly state-run, but the country has cherry-picked Western market standards to create a hybrid economy. In China the private sector now employs more than four Chinese citizens for every one working in the public sector — the private sector also contributes over 60 percent of GDP growth. But as non-Western economies such as China's begin producing more valuable goods, they present an economic threat to the industries that Western economies still dominate, such as the manufacturing of high-end semiconductor chips. Virtually every country has adopted some number of free market principles. 

far cry:〜から程遠い
Virtually:ほとんど, ほぼ(almost); 実質的には, 事実上, 実際上(practically)

This has led to a merger of national security and economic policy in the United States and the West. Free trade policy is now defined by the growth of the hybrid economies of China and others, by the threats to strategic industries in Western countries and by China's alleged disregard for its commitment to market economy principles under WTO guidelines. Indeed, when U.S national security adviser H.R. McMaster gave a Dec. 12 preview of Trump's new national security strategy, he specifically cited China's economic strategy as a threat to the global system and connected trade and economic policy to national security. 

The U.S. pressure on China has been growing under the surface for quite some time. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has long criticized the WTO for lacking the tools to force China to follow market economy principles on the financing of state-owned enterprises (SOE), the protection of intellectual property and the heavy state influence on domestic pricing. He has argued for the United States to go around the WTO to pressure China economically, if needed. That thinking can be seen in the U.S. investigation under Section 301 of China's intellectual property practices. 

go around the country taking photographs:全国を写真を撮って回る.

The harsh rhetoric about the lack of reform, combined with the U.S. tendency to lose cases brought against it, have rightfully worried many that the ultimate U.S. goal might be the end of the organization. Of course, actually pulling out of the WTO would bring on dozens of domestic legal challenges and could make U.S. exports to countries without a free-trade agreement subject to far higher tariffs. At the conference, Lighthizer pointed out that the WTO has been bogged down by litigation when it should be pursuing negotiations on trade and seeking concessions from countries such as China. 

lose a case:〔裁判で〕敗訴する
bogged:【困難な状況・問題などに】陥る, 行き詰まる, とらわれる(down)

Reforming the WTO, however, is a tall order. One of the organization's defining features is that decisions must be unanimous, meaning every country essentially has veto power. If the United States wanted fundamental change, all the 163 other members would need to be on board. This is one of the reasons that the Doha Round of negotiations have struggled since they began 16 years ago. 

tall order:《a 〜》難しい注文、手に負えない仕事、無理難題

Perhaps one of the more interesting outcomes of the Buenos Aires conference was a statement from the United States, the European Union and Japan that they would work trilaterally — through the WTO and other bodies — to eliminate "unfair market distorting and protectionist practices by third countries." They singled out overcapacity in certain sectors, forced technology transfers and state subsidies as a problem, all in a statement not too subtly aimed at Beijing. 

singled out:を1人[1つ]だけ選ぶ, えり抜く
subtly:巧妙[機敏]に; 精妙[複雑]に; ずるく, 油断無く.

Such a joint effort could certainly cause China to capitulate on some aspects of their demands, but the United States almost certainly had to assure the Europeans that its moves were not geared to bringing down the WTO to get them on board. This broad alliance is not new and has been growing for a while: all three countries face the same systemic risk from China's economic growth. Indeed, Washington, Brussels and Tokyo notably collaborated when all three simultaneously brought cases against China's export restrictions on rare earth metals and other rare metals in 2015. 

capitulate:抵抗を止める, 【反対していた事などを】受け入れる
geared: 適合する, 合わせてある
Systemic risk:1つの金融機関が倒産などから決済不能となった場合に、決済関係を通じて他の金融機関にもその影響が及び連鎖的に決済不能を引き起こし、金融システム全体の機能が失われてしまう危険性のこと。

The biggest issue, a giant one for all those involved, is the ongoing WTO cases that China brought against the United States and the European Union over its continued treatment as a nonmarket economy, which gives the United States and the European Union greater freedom to enact anti-dumping and countervailing duties on China in sectors where there is a heavy state hand. 

countervailing :(ほかに)対抗できるほどの, 相殺するような〈力・意見など〉.

Because those measures are the backbone of current trade remedies and sanctions against China, its classification as a market economy is something that the European Union and the United States are ardently against, and are coordinating their actions as a result. But if they lose their respective cases, both are going to be in a position where they will want to pressure China to make some sort of change. 

ardently:熱心に, 熱烈に.

Actually pulling out of the WTO would bring on dozens of domestic legal challenges and could make U.S. exports to countries without a free-trade agreement subject to far higher tariffs. 

pulling out of :やめる, 離脱する, 【事業などから】撤退する

Ironically, China often complies with WTO rulings. Its strategy has long been one of compliance on the surface, because as it undergoes a delicate rebalancing at home, it doesn't want to add an external threat to its place in the WTO. Added pressure from the United States and the European Union could compel China to come to the table and to negotiate a new treatment. 

complies:comply with the law [safety standard] 法に従う[安全基準に準拠する].

One possible outcome finds some middle ground: China accepting less than full market economy status, while the European Union and the United States concede that the state's influence is weaker in some Chinese sectors — agreeing to treat them as market economy ones. China would most likely love this arrangement because many of its more important sectors are increasingly privately led. 


One of the most interesting takeaways, however, may be the fact that as China moves into a new economic paradigm in which it is more market-oriented, a rules-based trade system becomes far more important if the United States, or anyone else, wants to justify trade action against China. That system would define the conditions that China must meet to qualify for market economy status. Nonetheless, the winds of free trade have shifted, and not just in the United States. What we are now seeing is global institutions being forced to catch up. 




swingby_blog at 08:28コメント(0) 


  情報を記憶: 評価:  顔   星



海野 恵一



Swingby 最新イベント情報
海野塾のイベントはFacebookのTeamSwingbyを参照ください。 またスウィングバイは以下のところに引っ越しました。 スウィングバイ株式会社 〒108-0023 東京都港区芝浦4丁目2−22東京ベイビュウ803号 Tel: 080-9558-4352 Fax: 03-3452-6690 E-mail: clyde.unno@swingby.jp Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clyde.unno 海野塾: https://www.facebook.com TeamSwingby

Recent Comments
  • 今日:
  • 累計:


社長ブログ ブログランキングへ