Since coming to power, US President Donald Trump has effectively vetoed all appointments of judges to the World Trade Organisation’s Appellate Body, the instance that makes rulings on global trade disputes. The court is supposed to have seven judges but by the end of this month the number will be down to three – the minimum for the system to function.
Mr Trump has railed against the court, claiming the US always loses cases, but in fact the US has a substantial win rate when it takes complaints to the WTO. “The US appears to be of the view that the court is politicised and ineffective. But, there are studies that show the US has won 86 per cent of the cases it has taken to the court over the past 20 years,” says European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
Describing the situation as grave, Cecilia Malmström tells Dagens Nyheter that discussions are being held on ways to strengthen the system, but the US has not responded.
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