After 15 years of negotiations, China was admitted to the World Trade Organization Sept. 17. Negotiations had been snagged over the conditions for entry for international insurance companies into China, but a compromise was reached at the last moment.

China’s entry will bring the world’s fifth largest trading power into the WTO and change the balance of forces in the body forever, analysts say.

For the pork industry, the agreement will mean increased U.S. exports to China, which could add as much as $5 per hundredweight to the price of U.S. hogs, according to one study. U.S. pork variety meats alone could add $5 of value to each U.S. hog says Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University agricultural economist.

Taiwan was cleared for admission the day after China gained admission to the WTO. Terms for Taiwan’s admission were completed 18 months ago, but the final decision was delayed because of a 1992 understanding that China would join first.

The 142 WTO governments approved a 1,200-page document setting out the terms for Taiwan’s membership in the body that sets global rules on international trade.

CNN.com