Home Business US trade chief rules out WTO dispute deal this week but says mood is positive

US trade chief rules out WTO dispute deal this week but says mood is positive

by Business News Report

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Wednesday ruled out an agreement on World Trade Organisation dispute settlement appeals reform this week, but said WTO talks on the issue were positive and some progress was visible. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the WTO’s 13th ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi (MC13), Tai said dispute settlement talks would continue on “very difficult issues” after the conference ends this weekend. The WTO’s dispute settlement system has been disrupted for years because the US has blocked appointments of new judges to the Appellate Body. Washington claims the body has overstepped its authority by effectively creating new trade rules through litigation. Billions of dollars of trade disputes remain unresolved due to the lack of an Appellate Body and restoring its functioning was seen by many WTO members as a key goal for the MC13.

Asked to describe the mood at the dispute resolution talks session, Tai said: “Positive. Collaborative. Constructive. Calm. We have more work to do.” He said there was agreement among members on reforming certain aspects of the dispute settlement system as part of a process launched a year ago that calls for “thinking big” about broader WTO reforms to meet the trade challenges of the 21st century. Was “activating” the subscription for. Tai rejected allegations that the US stance on dispute settlement has brought the WTO to an impasse, but said the issue of appeal reform remains difficult.

“There is another set of issues that are going to be harder and take longer to address, including what to do with this appeal mechanism and how to create a mechanism for review that does not repeat the problems of the Appellate Body.” who came before him, Tai said. “We’re looking forward to continuing this process after MC 13 and tackling some really tough issues.” Asked what the overall success of MC13 would look like from a US perspective, he said it would be a “meaningful step towards reforming the WTO” in documents on Thursday or Friday and maintaining positive momentum at the organisation. Tai went to the conference expecting “pragmatic” incremental steps toward WTO reform. Reuters

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