Export Taxes under the WTO System: China’s Way Out of the Dilemma / Xiuli Han and Bo Gao

ABSTRACT: There is little doubt among economists about the trade distortion effects of export taxes, like those of import duties. It is found in this paper that, under the multilateral trading system of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Members’ commitments to the elimination or limitation of the use of export taxes are highly imbalanced. While all original WTO Members except Australia and most Members by accession undertake no such commitment, the commitments of a number of other new Members are somehow substantial. The situation is even worse in the case of China, due to the mechanic interpretation approach recently adopted by the Panel and Appellate Body in China – Raw Materials. This paper examines this issue from both legislative and judicial perspectives, and makes recommendations to China for its future trade negotiations and dispute settlement.

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