Giorgio Sacerdoti

Will the World Trade Organization survive the Trump challenge? Considerations upon the crisis of multilateralism, a «global public good» to preserve

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: WTO; Trump Administration's Trade Policy; Multilateralism; Protectionism; Unilateralism; Dispute Settlement; Appellate Body.

The challenge of the Trump administration to the multilateral trading system and the disregard by it of its basic rules in the pursuit of protectionism, unilateralism and aggressive bilateralism risks to undermine the very foundations of the WTO and its relevance. This paper examines the aims declared by president Trump in pursuing such agenda, the modest results achieved in renegotiating the Korus and the NAFTA, and the destabilizing effects of president Trump's «trade war» to China. The looming paralysis of the dispute settlement system as an effect of the policy pursued by the US in withholding its consent to the renewal of the members of the Appellate Body, exactly when the imposition of additional custom duties on imports by the US and the countermeasures of the targeted countries give rise to an unprecedented number of sensitive disputes, risks to reduce the whole WTO system to impotence. It is to be seen whether the specific proposals of the EU and other members will be able to unblock the stalemate.

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