How’s that working out? In short-run economic terms, the bet delivered access to cheaper, high-quality goods for U.S. consumers and more income for the once-impoverished people of China. This is the result one would have expected from freer trade, which remains the key to prosperity for all emerging markets and the global economy in general.
The Chinese have a point when they argue that the United States wouldn’t be so dependent on Chinese credit if it did a better job of controlling its own federal budget deficits. Nevertheless, China must adjust its export-dependent growth model as well. And in that regard, WTO membership has not delivered the hoped-for evolution in China’s mind-set — at least not yet.