WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is laying the groundwork to preserve China’s unfavorable status in American trade cases, a step likely to ensure Chinese goods are eligible for higher tariffs in the U.S. well into the future.
U.S. officials are preparing a review of China’s “market-economy status” under the World Trade Organization, according to official documents on the Commerce Department website.
The review is expected to be announced as early as this week, just days before a high-stakes meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump.
Beijing has said members of the WTO were required to start treating it as a market economy in December 2016, on the 15th anniversary of its membership in the Geneva-based body that oversees global trade. However, the Obama administration declined to take steps to grant China that status, continuing to treat one of its largest trade partners as a nonmarket economy. Trump said in December that China is “not a market economy.”
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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