WTO Issues and Challenges...

The World Trade Organization and the global trading system are facing serious challenges in terms of unilateral measures and countermeasures by some members, deadlock in important areas of negotiations and the ongoing impasse in the appointment of members of the Appellate Body of WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.

These challenges have necessitated a discussion among members for reforms in the WTO, with a view to plug the gaps in the WTO rules and procedures.  India, as a strong supporter of the multilateral trading system, supports reforms of the WTO provided that the process is inclusive and addresses the developmental concerns of developing and least developing countries.

There has been an impasse in the matter of selection of members of the Appellate Body Members of the WTO.  The robust Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the WTO ensures that the rules of global trade agreed at the forum are not breached by members. India has been engaging with several WTO Members on the way forward at the WTO. India has recently co-sponsored a proposal with the European Union and other members on reform of the dispute settlement mechanism addressing various challenges.

The proposal, inter alia, addresses various imperative issues of timelines, the appointment process of the Appellate Body members, their tenure and other conditions so that the Appellate Body and the Dispute Settlement Mechanism work more efficiently.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, C. R. Chaudhary, in written replies in the Lok Sabha.

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