DP16935 Trump ended WTO dispute settlement. Trade remedies are needed to fix it.
Unhappy with the rulings of the WTO dispute settlement system, which disproportionately targeted US use of trade remedies, the United States ended the entire system in 2019. There are multiple hurdles to agreeing to new terms of trade remedy use and thus potentially restoring some form of binding dispute settlement. First, a change would affect access to policy flexibility by the now large number of users of trade remedies. Second, although China’s exports are the overwhelming target of trade remedies, exporters in other countries increasingly find themselves caught up in trade remedy actions linked to China. Third, critical differences posed by China’s economic model may call for new rules for trade remedies, but no consensus on those rules has emerged. Even some of the most promising reforms have practical limitations, create additional challenges, or may be politically unviable.