The US did not support the EU proposal on WTO reform

The American side believes that the proposed measures will not be able to solve effectively the problems of the organization.

The US authorities did not support the proposed EU measures to reform the Appellate body (AB) of the world trade organization (WTO). On Wednesday at a meeting of the General Council of the organization said the US representative to the WTO Denis Shea, reports Bloomberg.

“The proposed measures will not be able to resolve effectively the problems mentioned by other [WTO] members,” he said. “We respect the proposals submitted by the European Union, China and India, but it is unclear how they respond to the questions raised by the US.”

On Wednesday, the European Union presented to the General Council a draft reform of the AB WTO, already agreed with Australia, India, Iceland, Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and Switzerland. In the EU, it was proposed to clearly define the deadlines for the completion of work for members of the authority leaving their posts, to guarantee the consideration of cases within a strictly allotted 90-day period and to increase the number of permanent members of the AB from seven to nine people, to extend their term of work from six to eight years and to hold annual meetings with representatives of WTO states members.

Only three of the seven arbitrators are now represented in the Appellate body. Vacancies could not be filled because of the lack of consensus, as the United States stubbornly rejected proposals to resolve the problem. Three arbitrators are the minimum number of experts required to hear appeals to the WTO. One of them should resign, and the work of the Appellate body will be paralyzed.

The United States has repeatedly criticized the Appellate body for delivering its decisions after the 90-day time limit set by the rules. The report of the world economic forum on global risks published on January 17 noted that Washington’s blocking the appointment of new members to the Appellate body WTO could lead to the termination of its activities in 2019.