In recent years, the United States has pushed to bring new disciplines to the the area of special and differential treatment for developing countries at the WTO, and to the practice of self-declaration of developing country status. As part of Macao’s recent trade policy review at the WTO, the United States asked a question about Macao benefitting from special and differential treatment at the WTO.
The United States noted that Macao is very wealthy, and then asked a question (see p. 56) about Macao’s receipt of special and differential treatment:
Macao, China is one of the wealthiest economies in the world, measured in GNI per capita (PPP) terms, according to data from the World Bank and IMF. In fact, according to World Bank data from 2018, Macao, China is the wealthiest economy in the world.
4. Does Macao, China believe it is appropriate for it to seek blanket special and differential treatment in WTO negotiations, and therefore receive the same special treatment as Members with a GNI per capita figure of less than one percent that of Macao, China? If so, please explain why this is appropriate.
In response to this question, Macao offered the following:
Special and differential (S&D) treatment is the core value and fundamental principle of the WTO, Macao, China has not acquired any trade advantages from the WTO S&D treatment. As a WTO member, Macao, China will not evade its international responsibilities, and must uphold this core value and fundamental principle.
Macao, China reiterates and stresses its support for multilateral trading system, and will continuously enhance the transparency of its trade policy. Macao, China will commit to building a sound investment environment and maintain a highly open economic system, and will observe and uphold the WTO rules.