The office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently issued annual reports on China's and Russia's implementation of their obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements. USTR's report on China noted the current contentious relationship between the two trading partners. Despite a dramatic increase of U.S. exports to China since China's 2001 accession, the United States has brought 15 WTO dispute settlement cases against China. USTR reports that these cases are due to the Chinese government's interventionism and the large role of state-owned industries in China's economy. Thus, USTR's annual report stresses the importance of China's economic reform. The report suggests that a sustainable and open Chinese economy would decrease trade frictions, increase US exports, and provide a more balanced relationship between the two trading partners.
USTR's report on Russia criticizes the country for using "unjustified and retaliatory trade measures against many of its neighbors." Specifically, the report criticizes Russia's import ban against certain agricultural products from the West. USTR argues that this ban, as well as certain other measures, violate the spirit of WTO principles such as open trade. While USTR charged Russia with violating the spirit of the WTO agreement, it stopped short of threatening dispute settlement action.