The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The WTO\’s Dispute Resolution Body

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The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body is the most powerful appellate court in the world.

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The WTO\’s Dispute Resolution Body

  1. 1. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly:<br />WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body<br />Presentation by Nadia B. Ahmad, Esq.<br />Sustainable Development and Trade (Fall 2011)<br />University of Denver Sturm College of Law<br />September 30, 2011<br />
  2. 2. WTO Structure<br />
  3. 3. The various stages a dispute can go through in the WTO.<br />The Panel Process<br />
  4. 4. The Good<br />
  5. 5. The Good<br />The WTO's objectives include:<br />Facilitating, implementing and administering WTO agreements, the Multilateral Trade Agreements and the Plurality Trade Agreements;<br />Providing a forum for trade negotiation; <br />Administering the Dispute Settlement Understanding; <br />Administering the Trade Policy Review Mechanism; and<br />Cooperating with the World Bank, IMF, and other international organizations. <br />Unlike the GATT, the WTO possesses legal personality and a much more powerful dispute resolution system with which to accomplish its objectives.Source: Richard Skeen, Will the WTO Turn Green? The Implications of Injecting Environmental Issues into the Multilateral Trading System, 17 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 161, 166-67 (2004).<br />
  6. 6. “[T]he dispute settlement procedure [of the WTO dispute settlement system] is the WTO’s most original contribution to the stability of the world economy.”<br />- Gabrielle Marceau of the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO)<br />The Good<br />
  7. 7. Dispute Settlement System<br /><ul><li>The WTO Dispute Settlement System (DSS) is “now the most successful international dispute settlement ‘body’ in the world.”
  8. 8. “No other tribunal or system comes close to matching the number of cases before WTO Dispute Resolution Panels and the WTO Appellate Body, or the compliance by parties to a dispute with the rulings of the two tribunals that exist within the DSS.” </li></li></ul><li>Three Alternative Perspectives<br /><ul><li>An intergovernmental perspective, which holds that the creation of the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) represents an attempt by states to take control of the trade and environment debate by bringing it to a state-dominated organization. A two-level intergovernmental model incorporates portions of the next two perspectives by maintaining that national positions are shaped by national political processes as well as competition among governmental actors attempting to respond to and shape constituent demands.
  9. 9. A supranational technocratic perspective, which appraises the WTO's handling of trade and environment matters as a co-optation of policy-making by a technocratic network of trade policymakers with a neoliberalpolicy orientation. The network is composed of national trade officials working with the WTO Secretariat within the structure of the WTO trade regime. National trade officials, in turn, receive support from large, well-organized private businesses.
  10. 10. A stakeholder/civil society perspective, which views the creation of the CTE as a response to ongoing systematic pressure from non-governmental advocacy groups before international and domestic fora to change the norms of the world trading system.</li></ul>Source: The World Trade Organization Under Challenge: Democracy and the Law and Politics of the Wto's Treatment of Trade and Environment Matters, 25 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 1, 7-8 (2001).<br />
  11. 11. The Bad<br />
  12. 12. <ul><li>“Hey-Hey! Ho-Ho! The WTO has got to go!”
  13. 13. Seattle WTO meeting in 1999
  14. 14. Challenging the legitimacy of WTO decision-making
  15. 15. Central claim WTO decisions on trade &environment issues =anti-democratic </li></ul>  lack legitimacy<br />Source:The World Trade Organization Under Challenge: Democracy Adn the Law and Politics of the Wto's Treatment of Trade and Environment Matters, 25 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 1 (2001)<br />
  16. 16. U.S. Farm Subsidies<br /><ul><li>“Multibillion-dollar subsidies for U.S. farmers will face their widest challenge next week as the world trade court convenes a new case against controversial supports critics argue distort global markets.” (Reuters)
  17. 17. “The WTO court is expected to formally set in motion a challenge from Canada and Brazil, who argue that the United States, a major crop exporter, has violated world trade rules with farm subsidies in recent years.” (Reuters)</li></li></ul><li>U.S. Farm Subsidies, cont.<br /><ul><li>“At the heart of the challenges from Brasilia and Ottawa, which may be merged, are allegations that U.S. subsidies topped $19.1 billion, the current limit for U.S. supports that heavily distort trade, in several recent years.” (Reuters)
  18. 18. “Defenders of U.S. subsidies point out the allegations go after spending dating back to 1999, when price-triggered supports compensated for weaker commodity markets.” (Reuters)</li></li></ul><li>The UGLY<br />
  19. 19.
  20. 20. U.S. Corn Use For Export & Fuel Ethanol<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Sources<br />The World Trade Organization Under Challenge: Democracy And the Law and Politics of the Wto's Treatment of Trade and Environment Matters, 25 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 1 (2001).<br />International Tribunal Spotlight: The World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement System, American Society of International Law and the International Judicial Academy, April 2008, http://www.judicialmonitor.org/archive_0408/spotlight.html.<br />WTO/Doha Issues , http://farmpolicy.com/2007/12/17/wto-doha-issues/.<br />Richard Skeen, Will the WTO Turn Green? The Implications of Injecting Environmental Issues into the Multilateral Trading System, 17 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 161, 166-67 (2004).<br />Marcia Merry Baker, To Defeat Famine: Kill the WTO, http://www.schillerinstitute.org/food_for_peace/kill_WTO.html<br />MBF302-Unit-01-International Trade Policy Framework, http://train-srv.manipalu.com/wpress/?p=143233<br />SeafoodNews, http://www.vietfish.com/en/detail.php?id=6&&actitle=2522.<br />Understanding the WTO: Settling Disputes, http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/disp2_e.htm.<br />

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