Tensions over global trade are rising, as is the attention on the role and effectiveness of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reduce trade-distorting policies and strengthen international trade cooperation. The G20 countries, at their meeting in Argentina in September, reached consensus that there is an urgent need to reinvigorate the international trading system and reform the WTO. The WTO’s future will have significant impacts on the multilateral framework for trade. The WTO oversees global rules for trade and plays a core role in resolving international trade disputes among its 164 members. The United States is among the proponents for reforming the WTO, with President Trump threatening at the end of August to withdraw from the organization if improvements are not made. President Trump has also stated that the United States would block this year’s reappointment of four of the seven judges on the WTO Appellate Body, which resolves disputes of unfair trading practices, unless progress is made on its restructuring.
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