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            may 25, 2019

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US blocks WTO Appellate body


American opposition blocked a proposal by 73 WTO members to end an impasse as the US protests the functioning of the appellate panel itself, reports American Shipper.
The US continued its opposition to the appointment of new World Trade Organisation (WTO) Appellate Body (AB), blocking a joint proposal by Mexico and 72 other members.
The proposal called for the establishment of a selection committee for new World Trade Organisation Appellate Body members.
The Appellate Body has four vacancies, with two current members on the seven-position panel expected to depart in December and which would render the AB inoperative.
The US said it has identified systemic concerns with the Appellate Body that remain unaddressed.
The US said it has repeatedly raised concern that appellate reports have overstepped the text of WTO rules on antidumping duties, subsidies, countervailing duties, safeguards and standards and technical barriers to trade.
This, the Americans say, restricts the United States' ability to regulate in the public interest or protect against unfair trade.
Further, the Appellate Body has also asserted that panels must follow its reports, though WTO members haven't agreed to a system of precedent, and the AB has continually disregards the 90-day mandatory deadline for appeals, the US said.
The US for more than a year also has called for WTO members to correct the situation in which the AB acts as if it has the power to allow ex-AB members to continue to decide appeals even after their terms have expired.
"This so-called 'Rule 15' is, on its face, another example of the Appellate Body's disregard for the WTO's rules," the Americans say.

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