The fate of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) top court was effectively sealed Monday after the United States said it would not back a proposal to allow it to continue, trade officials said. The Trump administration has been blocking appointments to the WTO’s seven-member Appellate Body that rules on trade disputes for over two years, with U.S. officials saying the court had gone beyond its remit. The Appellate Body needs a minimum of three judges to function, but the terms of two of the three remaining members of the appeals panel expire on Tuesday, and there are no replacements in sight because of the U.S. blocking strategy.
The U.S. ambassador to the WTO, Dennis Shea, said other members had not addressed Washington’s concerns about what he called the court’s “overreach” and “disregard” of WTO rules.
João Aguiar Machado, the European Union’s ambassador, put the blame squarely on Washington. “In two days from now, we will have an unprecedented situation in the World Trade Organization, which will no longer be able to deliver binding resolution of trade disputes and will no longer guarantee the right to appeal review,” Machado said.
Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.