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U.S. Block of WTO Appeals Body Compromises System, Director Says

Posted November 10, 2017

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Rosalind Mathieson – Bloomberg)

The Trump administration’s decision to block new appointments to the World Trade Organization’s appellate body is compromising the ability of the system to resolve disputes, according to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo.

Speaking in Vietnam on the sidelines of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meetings, Azevedo called for a quick resolution to the dispute, saying it was already impacting the functioning of the global trade watchdog.

“The U.S. has said consistently that they think the appellate body functioning could be improved,” he said in an interview. “They think the appellate body sometimes overreaches, particularly in a moment when the WTO was not delivering negotiated outcomes that there was a temptation of the appellate body to legislate. Other members disagree.”

While he described it as a conversation “members need to have,” Azevedo said the U.S. under Donald Trump’s presidency had pursued a corrective course more forcefully than prior administrations. Click here to read more.

Related: Fears for Global Trade as Trump Fires First Shots to Kneecap WTO (Financial Times)