Reform Should Reinforce Primary Purpose Of WTO

- Nov 23, 2018-

In a sign of the escalating tensions between the United States and its major trading partners, the World Trade Organization agreed on Wednesday to hear complaints from the European Union and countries such as China, Canada and Mexico over new US steel and aluminum tariffs - imposed on national security grounds - as well as complaints from Washington over retaliatory duties.

And in a thinly veiled warning to the world trade body, the US delegation said any review of its measures taken for national security reasons would undermine the "legitimacy" and "even the viability of the WTO as a whole".

Such is the tough stance as adopted by the White House, which has blocked judicial appointments to the WTO, that it risks paralyzing its system of trade dispute settlement. The US has even threatened to quit the WTO if it does not "shape up".

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