15 Facts About China on its 15th Anniversary of Joining the World Trade Organization (WTO)

By Jet Moody
Dec 09 2016 |

China desperately wants to be named a “market economy.” It hasn’t earned the right.

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of China becoming a member of the WTO.

China is treating the anniversary as a pretty big deal. Its leaders believe that now that is has been in the WTO for 15 years, it's earned the right to be named a market economy. As the Wall Street Journal explains, this would "remove many risks of punishment when Chinese companies are accused of selling products below cost."

But while China has taken advantage of an open world market for the past decade in a half, it hasn't done much on its own end to open its own market or compete in a fair way. We've seen the impact of China's continued trade cheating here in the United States, as more than 5 million factory workers have lost their jobs since China entered the WTO. 

To celebrate China's WTO anniversary, we put together these handy list of facts about U.S.-China economic relations.

  1. The cumulative U.S. trade deficit with China since it joined the WTO is a staggering $3.5 trillion.
  2. The growing U.S. trade deficit with China cost 3.2 million jobs between 2001 and 2013.
  3. Sixty-three percent of 2016 voters think it is very important to “crack down on China for violating its trade agreements.” This includes a 54 percent majority of Clinton voters, and 71 percent of Trump voters.
  4. The ratio of Chinese imports to U.S. exports in bilateral trade relationship is over 4:1.
  5. There are 16 pages of the USTR National Trade Estimate Report (2016) devoted solely to Chinese trade barriers.
  6. More than three-fourths of surveyed U.S. companies reported they felt foreign businesses are less welcome in China than in years past.
  7. In 2014, China led foreign countries in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States reviews with 24 reviewed transactions out of more than 100 total acquisition deals.
  8. Seventy-five percent of new steel stock since 2000 has come from China.
  9. As many as 19,000 U.S. steel and iron workers are facing layoffs as a result of Chinese overcapacity.
  10. Over 1,000 antidumping cases have been initiated against China globally since 1995.
  11. The U.S. has launched 28 antidumping and countervailing duty cases against China during the first nine months of 2016.
  12. China’s enormous steel overcapacity grew to 336 million metric tons in 2015.
  13. Meanwhile, America’s steel production hit 79 million metric tons in the same year (2015).
  14. All 435 Congressional Districts have lost jobs to China due to Beijing’s unfair trade practices.
  15. China complies with zero of the six Commerce Department requirements to gain “market economy status.”