US accuses China and Russia of failing to meet WTO membership commitments

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The US has issued a pair of reports accusing China and Russia of failing to honor the market-oriented economic policy approach expected of them as members of the WTO.

The US has accused China and Russia of falling short of the global trading standards expected of them as World Trade Organization (WTO) members.

In its annual reports on each country's compliance with WTO rules, the US said both nations have "failed to embrace the market-oriented economic policies championed by the WTO", while asserting that they are not living up to certain key commitments they made when they accepted WTO membership.

China has been a WTO member since 2001, but the US report on the Asian nation stated that the Chinese government is still pursuing interventionist policies that are limiting market access for imported goods and services, as well as suggesting that China's regulatory authorities do not allow US companies to make their own decisions about technology transfers and the assignment or licensing of intellectual property rights.

It also criticized China for continuing to maintain the state's leading role in the economy and for the favorable treatment it provides to domestic industries compared to their foreign counterparts, even though this approach runs contrary to fundamental WTO principles.

Russia, meanwhile, was accused of showing "no intention" of complying with many of the promises it made to the WTO upon becoming a member in 2012, pointing to the Russian import ban on nearly all agricultural goods from the US and other WTO member nations, and its adoption of local content policies and practices last year.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said: "As these two reports show, the global trading system is threatened by major economies who do not intend to open their markets to trade and participate fairly. This practice is incompatible with the market-based approach expressly envisioned by WTO members and contrary to the fundamental principles of the WTO."