The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is likely to become paralysed on 11 December since its appellate body will be down to one member. Describing the situation as grave, Swedish Foreign Trade Minister Anna Hallberg has been spending the past days in talks with the WTO’s director general and US, China and EU WTO ambassadors.
The US has blocked all appointments to the appellate body, which makes final rulings in trade disputes, saying it has a history of ignoring procedural rules, does not respect US legislation and is ineffective.
Hallberg says she agrees with the US over a number of issues such as reform and modernisation, but the collapse of the appellate process will only create divides between countries. Small countries such as Sweden will be seriously affected when the WTO ceases to function, according to the minister.
“The WTO requires a strong political leadership where we reform the WTO and the EU can play a clear role in this work and in getting China and the US on board. Sweden can also play an important role here; we have a solid reputation in these forums,” she remarks.
We are a small, but qualified team of graduates in politics, economics, English and classics dedicated to providing quality news digests in English that offer readers a first-hand look at the most important topics covered by the Swedish press. Here you will find a selection of the articles that are published in our Swedish Press Review.