China WTO Market Economy Status: What changes after 11 December? Nothing.

Market access
9 December 2016

Press release


The anti-dumping instruments used by the EU and other major WTO trading partners, such as the United States and Japan, will remain unchanged after a minor element in a single section of China's WTO Accession Protocol[1] expires on 11 December 2016. This reality stands in stark contrast with China’s claim that the way other WTO members should treat it in anti-dumping investigations must change dramatically as of that date.


“11 December has been talked up as an iconic date after which the EU must treat China in the same way as market economies and thus lose the ability to defend itself against Chinese dumping,“ said Milan Nitzschke, spokesperson for AEGIS Europe. “Let me be clear: China’s interpretation is completely misleading.”


“The EU's major trading partners, the US and Japan, have publicly stated that they see no need and are taking no steps to change their legislation with regard to the treatment of China in anti-dumping investigations. Indeed, the expiry triggered on 11 December does not apply to most of Section 15(a) of China's WTO Accession Protocol,” Mr Nitzschke emphasised.


The legal results are self-evident. An opinion piece published today by Laurent Ruessmann, a leading EU trade lawyer and partner in the law firm Fieldfisher,  cleared up any confusion: “In the absence of definitive guidance from the WTO, each WTO member is left to figure out for itself what, if anything, needs to change in its domestic legislation in the light of the expiration of that one subparagraph. There is thus no reason not to continue to apply the existing EU anti-dumping legislation in new cases involving imports from China, until any changes passed by the EU Council and Parliament ultimately take effect,” said the article published on the FieldFisher blog.


Read the full press release