Will the WTO Survive without the United States?

10/19/2018

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Jin Kyo Suh | Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

The rule-based multilateral trading system is in grave danger. The U.S.’ continuous blocking the reappointment of WTO Judges is a major reason for a crisis in the WTO system. At the same time, however, China’s unfair trade practice is also an important reason for that crisis. How do we rescue the WTO? Since we cannot expect the WTO without the U.S., at least for the time being, we are compelled to accept the U.S. demands, at least in part. Notification and transparency are very persuasive. Special and differential (S&D) treatments is needed to be fixed for reflecting a wide range of heterogeneity among developing countries. It is clear that simply continuing as before is not workable. Neither is there one size that fits all. We know that the WTO is not perfect, but we know it is good and we seek to make it better. If so, it is time to ask ourselves how we can make sure that the U.S. remains in the WTO framework.

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