My biggest surprise in my economics reading last week.

There are two aspects to the issue of China’s compliance with WTO obligations. First, when governments file WTO complaints against China, how does it respond in general and, more specifically, does it comply with WTO rulings against it? And second, does China comply with its WTO obligations more broadly?

Along with my Cato colleagues Jim Bacchus and Huan Zhu, I tried to answer the first question in a policy paper last year. Now law professor Weihuan Zhou has written an entire book on the subject. Our conclusions are similar: China may not be perfect, but it does a reasonably good job of responding positively to WTO complaints and complying with rulings against it. This conclusion becomes even more apparent when you compare China’s behavior to that of other Members, including the United States and the European Union, who have ignored rulings in several WTO cases.

This is from Simon Lester, “Does China Comply with Its WTO Obligations?” Cato at Liberty, November 19, 2019.

Lester adds:

If these issues interest you, I encourage you to come to our Cato book forum for Weihuan’s book at noon on December 4, where I will be moderating and Jim will be offering comments. You can register here: