Journal Articles

China’s Porous Protectionism: The Changing Political Economy of Trade Policy

2005, Political Science Quarterly

Scott Kennedy

Abstract

As China becomes more integrated into international economic institutions and markets, there is a growing awareness of the importance of external factors in shaping the regulatory structure, laws, and policies governing its economy. Moreover, there is a consensus among observers that greater integration into the world trading and investment systems can be equated with further economic liberalization and that any lack of openness is due to entrenched domestic factors.1 China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) is thus seen as pivotal in furthering this transformation.2 Although such a close link between economic openness and participation in international economic institutions is largely accurate, the gap between how these organizations actually operate and a fully liberal economic order are increasingly important in ex plaining some protectionist elements of China's evolving trade regime. Conversely, economic integration has led to growing diversification of interests within China and to the emergence of nonstate advocates of openness, tempering efforts at protection. The role of liberal business interests in China suggests a growing need to understand their place in trade policy, even in authoritarian regimes

Citation

Kennedy, Scott (2005), “China’s Porous Protectionism: The Changing Political Economy of Trade Policy,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 120, No. 3, pp. 407-432.