WTO's appellate body becomes dysfunctional after US stalls appointments

Topics WTO | United States | WTO India

The dispute settlement body in WTO has agreed to establish a panel, which will soon start the hearing. | Photo: Reuters

WTO's dispute settlement mechanism will be impaired with the departure of two of the three judges on its appellate body following completion of their term on Tuesday.

The US has stalled appointments of members in the appellate body of WTO's dispute settlement system.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo told a meeting of the full WTO membership on Monday that he would launch more intensive, high-level consultations on how to resolve the longstanding impasse over the appointment of appellate body members.

His intervention came after World Trade Organization (WTO) members were unable to reach consensus on a proposal to address concerns regarding the functioning of the appellate body.

The appellate body would no longer be in a position to consider new appeals after December 10 and will have a negative impact on its dispute settlement system and also the multilateral trading system as a whole.

"India has several critical trade disputes currently pending at the WTO. For India, the spotlight will now firmly be on Regional Trading arrangements like the ASEAN," Rohan Shah, India's Representative and Governor on the board of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia said while commenting on the issue.

He observed that India will look to pursue bilateral arrangements with the US and the EU.

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