The WTO Legal and Dispute Settlement Systems in Times of Global Governance Crises
In: Cheng-Chia Jui (ed.), A New Global Economic Order (Brill Publisher 2021) (Forthcoming)
29 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2020 Last revised: 1 Aug 2020
Date Written: July 23, 2020
This contribution begins with an overview of current global governance crises (I). Due to the ‘perspectivism’, ‘bounded rationality’ and ‘conflicting instrumentalization’ of law by politicians, the social, economic and political disagreements inside and among states often prevent reasonable crises responses, as illustrated by the increasing conflicts between neo-liberal, state-capitalist and European ordo-liberal conceptions of international economic regulation (II). The hegemonic nationalism driving President Trump’s ‘trade wars’, his assault on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the US destruction of the WTO Appellate Body reflect what Nobel Prize laureate A.Einstein called the ‘madness’ of using obviously wrong methods for resolving problems; without protecting the WTO legal and dispute settlement system against money-driven, nationalist power politics (III) and maintaining the independence and impartiality of the Appellate Body (IV), the needed WTO reforms, mitigation of climate change, and coherent responses to global health and environmental emergencies appear impossible (V). The failures of ‘member-driven WTO negotiations’ suggest that adjusting the world trading system to the global governance crises may require pluri-lateral and regional reforms before the needed WTO adjustments may be possible (VI).
Keywords: Appellate Body, neo-liberalism, ordo-liberalism, World Trade Organization
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