JEAIL > Volume 6(1); 2013 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2013

Bracing for the Hidden Fallout: Systemic Implications of the Sino-US Trade Disputes at a Time of Changing International Trade Paradigms

Jaemin Lee
Seoul National University School of Law
Daehak-dong, Gwanak-gu,Seoul 151-742 Korea
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Global trading regimes are currently undergoing significant changes. It is most vividly shown in the recent spread of FTAs and the surge of protectionism. These fast changes pose new challenges to many countries in terms of formulating and implementing their respective trade policies. The increasing confrontation between the United States and China in trade sectors now operates as a multiplier and accelerator of this fast-changing global trade landscape. Recent disputes between the two have underscored fundamental differences in understandings of the legal framework of the WTO Agreements and the nature of the obligations as Members, thereby further raising questions about the reinvigoration of multilateralism. The two countries' retaliatory initiation of trade disputes against each other also involves third countries because of legal requirements and other considerations. The Sino-US trade disputes are thus not merely confrontation between the two largest trading partners; instead they carry wider systemic implications for both other countries and global trading regimes in transition.

Keywords: Sino-US Trade Dispute, Doha Development Agenda, FTA, Trade Paradigm, WTO DSU

View the Full Text