Plant.ca

EU to boost measures to protect trade after WTO impasse

A proposal to change some EU trade rules will enable it to act even when the WTO can't give a final ruling.

December 12, 2019   Joe Terrett

BRUSSELS — The European Union says it is taking measures to protect its trade interests in the ongoing row with the United States over the shutdown of the World Trade Organization’s appellate body.

EU trade chief Phil Hogan said the 28-nation bloc “cannot afford being defenceless if there is no possibility to get a satisfactory solution within the WTO.”

Since Dec. 11, the WTO’s appellate body, whose decisions affect billions of dollars in trade, lost its ability to rule on new dispute cases. Without having to worry about possible penalties, countries could use tariffs or be tempted to implement protectionist measures.

Hogan said that with the proposal to change some EU trade rules will enable it to act even when the WTO cannot give a final ruling.

Advertisment

Anticipating the end of the appellate body, the EU and Canada agreed this summer on a new trade dispute resolution system as a temporary backstop. The EU wants to expand it, but it’s unclear how many countries might join.

RELATED

World trade without rules? US shuts down WTO appeals court