Slim chances for the WTO appellate body despite US return to multilateralism

The Biden administration’s approach to international negotiations marks a step change in US trade policy. But despite a change in tone towards the World Trade Organization (WTO), there is little indication that the US will prioritise tackling key issues plaguing the global trade body.   On February 5, two weeks after his inauguration, President Joe Biden marked the US’ return to multilateralism by lifting opposition to the appointment of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the new director general of the WTO. Breaking this impasse, in place since October when the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) – then led by Robert Lighthizer – threw its support behind Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee instead, was a major step. “Without the recent swift action by the Biden-Harris administration to join the consensus of the membership on my candidacy, we would not be here today,” said Okonjo-Iweala recently. “I am grateful to the US for the prompt action and strong expression of support.” With a director general in place, all eyes turned to the monthly WTO dispute settlement body meeting on February 22, with hopes high that the Biden administration would take the lead in reversing the Trump administration-imposed logjam there. “The WTO no longer… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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