Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, March 21st, 2019

U.S. And China Trade Barbs at WTO amid Calls for Reform

U.S. And China Trade Barbs at WTO amid Calls for Reform

GENEVA - The United States said on Monday that China’s “unfair competitive practices” were harming foreign companies and workers in a way that violates World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but vowed to lead reform efforts.
U.S. trade ambassador Dennis Shea drew fire from Chinese envoy Zhang Xiangchen who said the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum products allowed protectionism under the guise of dubious national security concerns.
The heated words, in texts seen by Reuters, were exchanged at the start of a closed-door review of U.S. trade policies, held every two years at the WTO, which continues on Wednesday.
Shea expressed concern about the WTO dispute settlement system having “strayed far from the system agreed to by members” and said that the Appellate Body had overreached in some legal interpretations.
Zhang countered that by blocking the selection of judges, Washington was putting the system into paralysis. To force reform at the WTO, Trump’s team has refused to allow new appointments to the Appellate Body, the world’s top trade court, a process which requires consensus among member states. As a result, the court is running out of judges, and will be unable to issue binding rulings in disputes.  (Reuters)