Monday February 17, 2020

The WTO is rendered powerless at a time when we need it most

At a time when globalisation is under siege and nationalism is stirring once again, the WTO finds itself largely toothless

29th December, 2019
The person most identified with the creation of the WTO is the late Peter Sutherland. Picture: Getty

Something seismic happened earlier this month, and the world hardly noticed.

As attention was focused on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, the British general election, the inferno in Australia and the eruption of violent protests in India, one of the world’s most essential multilateral institutions more or less ground to a halt.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO), which enforces the rules of global trade and settles disputes among its 164 members, has...

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