Reviving the WTO dispute resolution mechanism by 2024 will be difficult for the members of the WTO due to distinct strategies put out by nations like China and the European Union.
Table of Contents
The 164-member international organization which had its headquarters in Geneva resolves trade issues between its members in addition to developing guidelines for international trade in goods and services.
Since December 2019, the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism has been ineffective due to an inoperative arbitration body.
According to the G20 declaration, the members emphasize the necessity of pursuing WTO reform to enhance all of its functions through a comprehensive member-driven process.
They also remain committed to retaining discussions with the goal of having a fully functioning dispute settlement system available to all members by 2024.
According to the trade experts, to accomplish this 2024 aim, all of the members will need to cooperate.
The co-founder of the Global Trade Research Initiative said that the WTO changes that the G20 nations have committed to pursuing are focused on achieving a working conflict resolution system that is open to every participant by 2024.
Moreover, members face a challenging task in light of the varied strategies put forward by the US, EU, China, India, and other nations.
Mr. Deep Kapuria, the chairman of Hi-Tech Gears and a trade specialist, said the G20 leaders’ confirmation of their support for WTO reforms is a much-needed political boost for the WTO Secretariat as they begin to get ready for the 13th Ministers Meeting.
Functions of the WTO
Also, in addition to establishing standards for international exports and imports, the WTO also resolves disagreements over trade between its member nations.
Once a grievance has been submitted to the WTO, there are two main ways to resolve a disagreement: through adjudication, which involves a panel’s decision and, if the parties are not satisfied, challenging it before an appellate body; or through mutually agreed-upon settlement, which is especially possible during the phase of both sides of consultations.
WTO’s Dispute Resolution Body
The WTO dispute resolution mechanism’s inoperative appellate body is currently the main issue. The WTO’s dispute resolution body is the appellate body. It hears complaints of WTO bench rulings.
Srivastava claimed that while WTO members favor altering the dispute resolution body, they differ on the specific changes that should be made.
Since 2017, the US has opposed the selection of additional members to the appeal court, claiming that the body has grown excessively political and exceeded its boundaries, the official said.
He continued by saying that the European Union had asked to have a decrease in the number of members and an overhaul in how they are elected.
According to him, India wants to make sure that the appeal body continues to be objective and unbiased. There are presently seven people on the appellate body.
Some nations have suggested decreasing the WTO’s dispute resolution body membership to five or three. Another expert stated that the body would become easier to handle and more effective as a result.
Currently, WTO member nations vote to choose their members. In recent years, this has made it harder to add new members. To make the selection process more open and democratic, certain countries have proposed changing it.
Reviving the WTO
According to Srivastava, there have been several suggestions to increase the appellate body’s independence, such as mandating that members serve specified periods and preventing them from pushing for subsequent nominations.
There have been several suggestions to increase the appellate body’s independence, such as mandating that members serve specified periods and preventing them from pushing for subsequent nominations.
He added that though all members stress the need for WTO reforms, they differ in the nature and extent of such reforms. Establishing an arrangement that is acceptable to all member nations is the main problem in WTO reforms.
Although this is a challenging task, it is necessary for the WTO to continue to be productive and viable.