Back to Top

The U.S.’s Power-Based Bargaining and the WTO: Has Anything Really Been Gained?

New AAEA Member research published in AEPP

The U.S. Trade Representative  recently expressed concern about China’s continued use of industrial subsidies, indicating the possibility of a follow-up Section 301 investigation to that conducted by the previous administration, and which led to the imposition of tariffs on imports from China in 2018. These tariffs, along with retaliation by China, have come at some cost to US consumers, taxpayers, and farmers, although the latter group have regained market share following implementation of the US-China Phase One Trade Agreement.

In the new article “The US’s Power-Based Bargaining and the WTO:  Has Anything Really Been Gained?” published in  Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Ian Sheldon from The Ohio State University analyzees what has driven  the United States to adopt a “power-based” approach to trade negotiations with China.

Sheldon says, “By not following the “rules-based” approach of the WTO, the US and China have put the future of the multilateral trading system at risk. Also, the failure to include China’s use of industrial subsidies in the US-China Phase 1 Trade Agreement ignores a key reason for the US starting the trade war in the first place.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190