On April 22, Development Thought & Policy at The New School was pleased to host its fourth and penultimate event of the Spring 2015 semester: “China and the WTO: Pursuing Political and Economic Interests?” This event, which took place in the iconic Orozco Room at Alvin Johnson / J.M. Kaplan Hall, featured an initial lecture from Professor Constantine Michalopoulos, former economist at the World Bank and WTO, as well as a current professor of international affairs at Johns Hopkins. A lively discussion followed his remarks, with Khalid Malik (former UN Resident Coordinator in China) and our own Dean William Milberg (of NSSR) weighing in. The event was chaired by GPIA Professor Sakiko Fukuda-Parr.
Professor Michalopoulos’ lecture focused on China’s role within the WTO, and echoed the results of a paper which he wrote for the 13th Annual Conference on China and the WTO, in Beijing, entitled China and Developing Countries in the WTO. The paper seeks to clarify whether or not there is a bias against China in the WTO, using the number of anti-dumping initiated against China as a proxy. Surprisingly, the study found that while such investigations have been on the rise of late, they have not kept pace with the growth of China’s exports. In other words, we would expect more investigations against China than there actually are, given the amount of trade which they conduct. Professor Michalopoulos concluded, “China, in my view, has brought its policies closer to the norm of its international trading partners… China is not misbehaving, and when it has, it has been brought to court and it has changed its policies.”