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Why Has the U.S. Launched an Offensive Against WTO’s Dispute Settlement System?

Posted October 31, 2017

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues


(Priti Patnaik – The Wire)

“It is called Buyers’ Remorse – ‘We made the rules, we know what they mean and they should not apply to us’ – this is effectively the position of the US,” a seasoned trade official in Geneva says on the deepening crisis at one of the most important institutions for international trade governance – the Appellate Body (AB) at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The ‘crisis’, put simply, is this: the US is unhappy about certain procedural issues and how some trade disputes have been resolved at the WTO. This has resulted in an impasse with potentially serious consequences for the rules-based regime of international trade.

Resolving trade disputes has been one of the core functions of the WTO. When countries cannot resolve matters with their trading partners, they show up at the door of the WTO. The AB, one of the highest adjudicating bodies of the international trade world, hears disputes brought by WTO members. After more than two decades, this mechanism is now under duress. Click here to read more.

Related: Procedures to Enhance Transparency and Strengthen Notification Requirements under WTO Agreements