In This Review

Tiger by the Tail: China and the World Trade Organization
Tiger by the Tail: China and the World Trade Organization
By Mark A. Groombridge and Claude E. Barfield
AEI Press, 1999, 110 pp

This short book was published after the United States rejected Chinese offers on market access and accession to the World Trade Organization in April 1999 but before the successful conclusion of those negotiations in the following November. Although inevitably a bit dated, the book provides valuable background and lucid analysis of the issues surrounding China's WTO entry. Groombridge and Barfield argue that China remains selectively statist in its approach to industrial structure despite its long march toward a market economy. It still lacks a solid legal basis for settling commercial disputes and limiting continuing intervention by officials in commercial deals. Hence, the authors view China's accession to the WTO as desirable because it creates an ambitious agenda for further institutional reform -- especially administrative transparency -- even though it opens up a rich field for subsequent disputes with its trading partners.