On December 12, China launched a complaint at the WTO. Chinese officials are protesting the way the United States and European Union calculate prices for exported goods in trade disputes with their country. China joined the WTO on December 11, 2001. On Sunday, part of China's agreement with the trade group came to an end. Chinese officials say this means the nation, led by the Chinese Communist Party, should have market economy status, also known as MES. The term MES means that trade partners would have to accept prices reported by China's exporters.

    However, the European Union, the United States and some other countries do not agree that China should be given MES. Japan and India also are unlikely to immediately consider China a market economy. The disagreement over China's position in the WTO adds to growing concerns about free trade around the world. Ideas that some people consider protectionist have been voiced in Europe. They became widely reported after Britain voted to leave the European Union. U.S. president-elect Donald Trump has also threatened to place heavy import taxes on some Chinese goods.