Deadlock in the WTO appellate body: Sad day for multilateralism and rules-based international trade.

As of today, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body, in which international trade disputes are meant to be settled, has ceased to function, following the US’ administrations lack of appointment of judges to the WTO’s Appellate Body and its blocking of the replacement of any members.

MEP Karin Karlsbro, Renew Europe’s Coordinator of the Committee on International Trade, said today:

«This is a sad day for world trade. It is incredibly disappointing how the US through its actions incapacitates the core functioning of the WTO. The state of global trade is already very tense with threats of trade war between the US and China. The EU must now play a crucial role in restoring a functioning WTO and ensuring the future of rules-based trade.»

MEP Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Member of the Committee on International Trade, added:

“By blocking the WTO dispute settlement system, our multilateral system is diminished and weakened. The EU must step up its efforts and find solutions in order to prevent a paralysis of the WTO. The future of rules-based trade and multilateralism is at stake here. The EU has to show that it stands up for the multilateral trading system.”

Note to editors:

The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body is supposed to consist of seven judges of which a minimum of three are required for them to be able to act. Two of the remaining three judges retire today, meaning that the body will no longer be operational.

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