DOHA, QATAR - U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick today welcomed the unanimous decision of trade ministers attending the Ministerial meeting in Doha to invite China to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), thereby assuring it will become a member shortly.
"This represents great progress for China, the WTO, and the world trading system," said Zoellick in his statement to the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization.
"I believe that as this century unfolds and people look back on today, they will conclude that in admitting China to the WTO we took a decisive step in shaping the global economic and commercial system." He added, "China's accession to the WTO will promote openness in China, development of the rule of law, and political and economic reform."
The WTO's decision to invite China to join culminates 15 years of arduous negotiations. The final accession package is a consolidation of China's market access commitments to the United States and other WTO members, and detailed commitments on how China will reform its trading system so that it complies with WTO rules.
After today's decision, China must submit its formal acceptance of its terms of accession to the WTO Secretariat. Thirty days later, China will become a member of the WTO.
Trade ministers are expected to reach consensus on the accession of Taiwan on November 11.