What Happened When China Joined the WTO?
Video: OMC español
Economically, the United States saw some benefits and some downsides.
- Consumers broadly benefited from China’s WTO entry because they could buy goods from China at lower prices.
- Corporations profited from increased access to China’s massive market. In 2017, for example, China accounted for about 20 percent of Apple’s sales, and since 2001, the value of U.S. agricultural exports to China increased by 1,000 percent.
- However, labor unions in manufacturing and factory work opposed a WTO accession deal, certain that cheaper labor in China would cost jobs in the United States. And they were right: between 1999 and 2011, almost 6 million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost. A landmark study attributed nearly 1 million of those manufacturing job losses, and 2.4 million total job losses, to competition from China. But because major technological advances such as automation occurred in that same time frame, economists disagree about exactly how responsible Chinese competition was for job losses in manufacturing.
Meanwhile, for China, the economic impact has been remarkably positive:
- Since 1999, more than four hundred million Chinese people have been lifted from extreme poverty (living on less than $1.90 a day).
- China’s economy is eight times larger than it was in 2001.
- Trade in goods between the United States and China increased more than thirty times, from less than $8 billion in 1986 to over $578 billion in 2016. China surpassed Germany to become the world’s largest exporter of goods in 2009.
Video: CNN Chile
Video: teleSUR tv