Fourteen WTO members join Canada and the EU on an interim appeal arrangement

Last week, in Davos, Switzerland, Canada, the European Union (EU) and Ministers from 14 other Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to develop a multi-party interim appeal arrangement that will allow the participating WTO members to preserve a functioning and two-step dispute settlement system at the WTO in disputes among them.

This initiative was launched in mid-December 2019 by the EU and a number of other WTO members following the effective paralysis of the WTO Appellate Body, due to the blockage of any new appointments by the Unites States since 2017.

The multi-party interim arrangement will be based on Article 25 of the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). It will secure for the participating WTO members (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union, Guatemala, Republic of Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland, and Uruguay) an effective and binding dispute settlement process for potential trade disputes among them.

The arrangement is a contingency measure and it will only apply until the WTO Appellate Body becomes operational again.

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