The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) dispute settlement process risks collapse by the end of this year as the United States continues to block appointments to the WTO Appellate Body. Once the terms of two of the three remaining WTO Appellate Body Members expire on 10 December 2019, the WTO’s appeals court no longer will possess
The U.S., EU and Japan issued a joint statement at the 11th Ministerial of the World Trade Organization in Buenos Aires, pledging trilateral cooperation to combat a number of unfair market distorting and protectionist practices by third countries, including severe excess capacity, government-financed support, market-distorting subsidies, state owned enterprises, forced technology transfer, and local content requirements and preferences.
Though not mentioned by name, China was the widely-interpreted intended target of the message. All three countries are bearing the brunt of flooded steel and aluminum fueled by overcapacity in Chinese markets, and the U.S. and EU are denying China’s demand for market economy treatment based on numerous existing market distortion of the kind described in the joint statement. Many of these practices were also the focus of negotiations under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. exited earlier in the year, and which also was aimed at shaping Chinese trade behavior. …