Wentong Zheng


This Article offers a systematic examination of trade law’s responses to the emergence of China as a major player in world trade. As an intricate set of rules written largely prior to the advent of the China era, trade law had to readjust to the powerful newcomer in ways that eventually changed trade law itself. This Article investigates these changes in four major areas of trade law: antidumping, countervailing duties, safeguards, and managed trade. In almost all of those areas, trade law witnessed a protectionist shift against Chinese products at the expense of sound, consistent principles. But, at the same time, trade law has corrected some of the most egregious protectionist policies on China. These adaptations on the part of trade law tell a story of how an organic legal system evolves in response to changing external circumstances. This Article concludes that at least as an initial assessment, trade law has been rather successful in accommodating China in the new world trade order and has preserved the structural stability of the world trade system without deviating too far from its core principles.

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