WTO — all. The new year could be the last

© AFP 2018 / Fabrice CoffriniВход in the building is the headquarters of WTO in Geneva, SwitzerlandWTO — all. The new year could be the last© AFP 2018 / Fabrice Coffrini

In 2019, the term expires for two of the three remaining judges of the court of appeal the world trade organization (WTO). To assign a new can hinder the Americans: Donald trump has repeatedly threatened U.S. withdrawal from the WTO if it does not dance to his tune. Other countries, including the EU, the American President do not support. What awaits the main international trade Association and how it will affect Russia — in the material RIA Novosti.

For that fight

The WTO emerged in 1995 on the basis of the General agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT), signed in 1947 — in fact, an analogue of the United Nations, designed to regulate international trade and promote the development of trade relations worldwide.

Russia has spent 18 years negotiating to join the organization. For countries wishing to take a leading position in world exports of goods and services, reduction of tariffs and trade rules in line with all international standards was vital.

«During difficult and lengthy negotiation process we agreed to and brought into conformity with the WTO rules hundreds of our tariff lines, domestic legislation. We already for a long time been using the norms and standards of the WTO. And the fact that all WTO members approved Russia to the organization, is a recognition of the full readiness of Russian economy to new conditions,» — said Vladimir Putin in an interview with RIA Novosti in 2013.

However, it turned out that WTO was not ready to new economic realities. In particular, it became clear that the key problem the main world site, meant to discuss and resolve existing between the parties at conflict lack of effective dispute settlement mechanisms.

In addition, the WTO is characterized by extreme slowness in making certain decisions. The organization is clearly in urgent need of reform.

In late November the joint proposals for changes in appellate court of the WTO have made China, India, EU, Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Mexico and Singapore.
Trump vs

Now in the body of the world trade organization only three judges out of seven. Over the past year, the court delivered only three judgments — the other eleven, in fact, hung.

That’s good enough for Donald trump: because they waged a trade war against the world, the WTO has addressed many of the countries affected by the protectionist policy of the United States, including China, Russia and even US allies in the NAFTA — Canada and Mexico.

American politicians used to use the international organization solely as puppets for pushing their own interests. Therefore, a strong WTO is able to be held accountable for the actions aimed at slowing global trade, and as a consequence of economic growth, the current President of the United States is simply not needed.

In July the administration trump has prepared a bill, allowing to ignore the WTO decision in the case of nonconformity with the public interest. The owner of the White house in an interview with Bloomberg stated that the US is ready to leave the organization, if that «will not improve my job.»

That is why Washington is blocking the reappointment of judges — two of them will expire next year. So, once the current will be only one, the appellate court of the WTO will lose a minimum quorum.

To avoid such a scenario, calling for reforms of the participating countries of the WTO propose to give judges the right to continue work on current claims even after the expiry of term of office and reduce the time of consideration of such cases to 90 days.

In addition, it is proposed to remove from judges the function of interpretation of the conflicts that arise due to the inconsistency of domestic law of the States involved in the process — in other words, to prescribe to do only what they are intended to resolve disputes, without being distracted by related issues.

No less important the idea is to enter the annual meeting for discussion and adjustment of domestic judicial practices. This is due to the fact that often the appellate body refers to previous decisions, as is customary in the countries with case law (UK and USA). Simply put, the court makes the same decisions under the new dispute, as under the old, if the nature of the next conflict is consistent with what has already been the subject of litigation.

However, in most member countries of the WTO applies the controversial law: each new case is considered in accordance with the applicable laws, and the decisions on them are carried up to the opposite, given the circumstances.

The position of Russia in the WTO unchanged. «We certainly do not call into question our participation in the world trade organization. Moreover, we talked about this many times on various platforms: today, there is no alternative to WTO does not exist. Its role as mediator in international commercial disputes remains the leading» — said in late June, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

It is significant that even when the EU does not accept defeat in a case concerning swine embargo (EU illegally demands compensation of 1.39 billion euros annually for the introduction of Russia’s ban on imports of European pork), Moscow prefers to resolve all issues according to the rules of the organization and set up a dialogue with Brussels.

© Vitaly Podwyzki free flightWTO — all. The new year could be the last© Vitaliy Podwyzki free flight

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