The World Trade Organization has a long history of anti-American actions. They’ve just handed us another one, and in the process handed a big freebie to Chinese state capitalism.
Unbeknownst to most Americans, huge sections of our nation’s trade policy aren’t set in this country anymore. They are set by panels of WTO judges in Switzerland, to whom we have signed over the right to rule on the legitimacy of our policies.
At issue in a WTO ruling handed down last Friday is how much scope the U.S. is entitled to in trying to level the playing field for American companies competing against companies subsidized under China’s system of state capitalism.
The specific products at issue in the ruling are steel tubing, off-road tires, and woven sacks. However, as in domestic legal rulings, the implications go far beyond the immediate subject matter.