WTO Set to Settle Score!

The emergence of World Trade Organization (WTO) to give right course to the mobilisation of resources worldwide in terms of international trade is a major breakthrough and its effective journey started on January 1, 1995 with bearing on General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)’s all pros and cons. It gave participants of international trade a wider dimension to exercise and enjoy in bringing the best comparative gains.
International trade is not only apt in garnering resources across globe but give countries more scope in defining their domestic potential to a new and diversified way. Simply it counts well in bringing potential to its’ best dividend from manufacturing to music. Music I mean in intangible sense the third dimensional factor of human resources. All captivates the eternal force of human civilisation to the tune of highest order. Therefore one should go cohesively with other and make the mixture of intention and irritation to a tolerable saturation so as to redirect the concern of conflict more specialised and productive.
When the basic question on WTO’s presence tilt towards a failure in sensitising the motto of international trade the globe then start to scramble with a fear of anxiety and alienation. Globe’s better off is the call of the hour in arresting overpriced concern of poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, health hazards etc.
During financial  and economic crisis 2008-’09 a number of factors like trade restrictions, vertical specialization, lack of trade finance et al given a different tone to the composition of world trade with a sharp fall in volume as demand sagged and production slowed and this eventually hit the level of unemployment and poverty harshly. Ironically the WTO rules remained as a legal framework then as major developed and emerging economies inclined towards regional or bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs).
The Covid-19 scenario may be more complicated I think mainly on ground of an almost halt in international trade (apparently an autarky call for survival) and manufacturing at domestic level. Above all countries are in distress with growing menace of uneven growth of macro concerns like fall in GDP, looming figure of unemployment and poverty. The pandemic condition not only hampering the production arithmetic and GDP figure, also shrewdly sheering the expenditure side of the economy with an want of best settlements of medical infrastructure and leaving the economy in a much more precarious position.
In the pre-Covid period we had a tumultuous journey from Brexit to US-China trade war and we have witnessed how all issues have impacted the green of trade environment inopportunely. With all these reasons and ensuing assertions it makes the sum hard to reach a consensus.
Appellate Body Impasse: WTO’s appellate body is a crucial cubicle of dispute settlement system. Its function is to sort out concerns placed by Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). The body went into crisis in 2019 when the United States did not allow the appointment of new members to the appellate body on claim of its functions in an unjust way. The US also had pointed an exasperated indulgence of ‘judicial activism’ in this regard.
Now the time is very detrimental in understanding the crisis and to sort it out on urgent basis so as to make sure members of organisation will not lose their right to appeal against the decisions of the WTO panels. And the unresolved issue may sprout option to participants to go for regional or multiregional trading blocs.
Call for Trade Finance: Last week six multilateral banks and heads of WTO jointly have vowed for a cure to the shortages in trade finance to make sure supply of minimum essentials like food, drugs and medical equipment and also urged other financial institutions to come forward with utmost vigour to facilitate the cross-border trade and downplay the covid-19 imbroglio with an upbeat note. The organisation is thus not in a sleep mode. As per WTO report during the mid-October 2019 to mid-May 2020, G20 economies have implemented 154 new trade and trade related measures among which 95 are import facilitating and 59 import-restrictive. Especially it will be worthy to mention that 60 per cent of total measures are covid-centric. So eventually it established the viability of trade finance to a greater tone.
With all these current initiatives taken the further sitting of WTO deserves particular mention.
Panels on Tariffs and Duties: Recently at a meeting of DSB WTO members showed their consent to a request from European Union for examining India’s tariffs on certain high-tech goods and Colombia’s anti-dumping duties on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and Netherlands. On the DBS meet EU also has tabled its concern on India’s import tariffs on certain information and communication technology goods. Likewise a number of countries have put their requirements in place for having a comfort in cross-border trade and WTO is thus still a custodian in shouldering responsibilities and ensuring better trade environment.  
Meanwhile Mexico on behalf of group members has called further for starting selection process for filling vacancies in the Appellate Body and raised concern over settlement of disputes as it is of crucial concern now for a better functioning and deliberations of DSB to serve members best. We are desperately looking for a sound re-emergence of WTO breaking all bottlenecks amid covid pandemic. Because after a long exercise of globalisation habit and dependency a better trade environment across borders only could rightly facilitate macros to a greater extent.
(Ref: Data source: WTO portal)


  1. I sensed it a responsible attitude towards ongoing economic crisis with sense and simplicity.

  2. It's great to get your comment