Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Freeing trade: Negotiating domestic and international obstacles on China's long road to the GATT/WTO 1971–2001
by Harold, Scott W., Ph.D., Columbia University, 2008, 598; 3299358
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation analyzes the origins, development, and motivations that drove the People's Republic of China (PRC) to seek admission to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and its successor body, the World Trade Organization (WTO). Looking first at the changes in the international system that enabled China to gain standing to apply for GATT membership, the thesis then turns to domestic struggles between competing political factions over how best to develop the Chinese economy while maintaining the political power of the Communist Party. It takes note of important ideological debates in the fields of economic and trade theory, and examines the involvement of certain key academic and bureaucratic institutions in developing, endorsing, and agitating on behalf of China's integration into the rules-based international trading system. After assessing the origins of the application to join, the dissertation then turns to an evaluation of why the process of negotiating accession took an unprecedented fifteen years to complete, and concludes that a combination of domestic institutional obstacles, change in the international strategic environment, a leadership transition, a dramatic increase in the geo-economic importance of the size of the Chinese economy and the replacement of the GATT by the more expansive WTO combined to impede forward progress on the PRC's application over a number of years. Finally, the launching of a bid by rival Taiwan, together with the onset of electoral and trade negotiating cycles in America and the WTO and the development of an experienced cadre of trade negotiators, convinced the Chinese leadership to make the difficult sacrifices necessary to achieve accession to the WTO.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bernstein, Thomas P., Nathan, Andrew J.
Commitee:
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 69/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Economics, Political science, International law
Keywords: China, Decision-making, GATT/WTO, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Ideology, Institutions, Interests, Negotiations, Trade, World Trade Organization
Publication Number: 3299358
ISBN: 9780549430575
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