Please, Reboot – Small Economies and the WTO Appellate Mechanism in Times of Trade War and COVID-19
14 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2020
Date Written: September 7, 2020
The fact that the major economic blocs today no longer agree on which rules should apply in global trade reveals weaknesses in the WTO system and leads to the (temporary) downgrading of the WTO from a law enforcement agency to an administrator. This paper takes a closer look at the legal protection of trade interests of small and independent economies before the crisis in multilateralism and discusses to what extent the heavy dependence of the rules-based trading system on consensus among major economic blocs may have contributed to its current crises. It then turns to exploring alternative instruments for the legal protection of trade interests of small and independent economies outside of the WTO system, and to – from the perspective of small and independent economies – most critical practical and legal shortfalls in the previous WTO dispute settlement system, which ought to be addressed in the interest of all WTO members when considering re-establishing the WTO appellate mechanism in international trade disputes.
Keywords: WTO, Appellate Body, Multilateralism, Crisis, Small Economies
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation