Problems in China's External Economic Engagement: The Thread Running Through ECFA with Taiwan, Trade Imbalances with USA and Negligence of WTO

Wing Thye Woo , Professor of Economics,University of California at Davis

RSVP Required by 5PM October 23
Lunch provided to those who RSVP.

For the last decade, China has been at the forefront of pushing for regional economic integration, e.g. ASEAN-China FTA, Hong Kong-China CEPA, and China-Taiwan ECFA. Could this process culminate into a movement toward a European Union-style economic bloc? What are the implications of this development for US economic welfare? US unions have long viewed the cheap goods from China as harmful to US workers; and some US economists have recently blamed the cheap credit from China for the 2008 implosion of the US financial system. The present escalation of Chinese and US rhetoric on the exchange rate is worryingly akin to the mutual pawing on the ground before the great leap forward at each other. What is the sensible solution? There is no sign that the impasse over the Doha Round of trade negotiations would be resolved in the medium-term.  It is very surprising that China has adopted a near hands-off approach on this issue because it has been the biggest beneficiary of the open multilateral trading system. Has China's failure to help strengthen the WTO framework emboldened protectionism, much to its own detriment and the world's? In this seminar, Professor Woo will examine China's strategy of external economic engagement, including the recently signed ECFA between Beijing and Taipei. Woo argues that part (and only part) of the reason why China does not already have a coherent strategy could be that its present governance institutions create disincentives to move quickly to embrace such a strategy.  

Wing Thye Woo is Professor of Economics at U.C. Davis, Yangtze River Scholar at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, Director of the East Asia Program within The Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He received an M.A. in Economics from Yale University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. He has advised the U.S. Treasury Department, the IMF, World Bank, and the United Nations. Professor Woo has published extensively, and his current research focuses on the economic issues of East Asia, international financial architecture, comparative economic growth, state enterprise restructuring, fiscal management, and exchange rate economics.





In this special seminar, Professor Woo will examine China's strategy of external economic engagement, with a special emphasis on how the recently signed ECFA between Beijing and Taipei fits into this strategy


Monday, October 25, 2010 | 12:15 pm — 1:30 pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL)