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QINGDAO TODAY
在线翻译:
szdaily -> World Economy -> 
Gears of WTO may halt amid US concerns
    2019-01-22  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

THE operation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) may soon stall because of U.S. delays in appointing new judges, Canada’s trade minister said as he prepares to convene another round of reform talks in Davos.

Jim Carr said the U.S. refusal to appoint judges to the appellate body of the 164-nation WTO means that in “the next number of months” the WTO’s dispute settlement system will effectively stall. That lends urgency to talks set to take place on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

“The most urgent problem is the dispute settlement mechanism. Without any new judges being appointed, the gears are going to come to a halt. They’re going to slow down, and it will not be good news,” Carr said.

This week’s talks will be missing representatives from the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, as other nations try to navigate the giants’ trade fight. “You’re not going to have a durable and lasting reform of the WTO unless you have China and the United States involved. You can’t start there, though. But that’s where we’re going to have to end up,” Carr said.

Carr’s comments come amid rising trade tensions globally, which have trade-reliant Canada — the world’s 10th-largest economy, for which exports make up about a quarter of gross domestic product — caught in the middle.

Canada, at the request of the United States, arrested a Huawei Technologies Co. executive Dec. 1, a move that has triggered a bitter, rising feud with China. U.S. President Donald Trump has mused that he may abandon the case against the executive if he reaches a satisfactory trade deal with China, blurring the lines between trade posturing and law enforcement.

Carr spoke in Japan, the largest economy in the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP trade deal. Canada is the second biggest. Formerly the TPP, it was saved after Trump pulled the United States out of the deal shortly after he took office.

The first countries that ratified the CPTPP deal made their first two rounds of tariff cuts to start the year. Carr said there are “very positive reports already,” particularly among Canadian beef, pork and cereal producers, and that other countries are expressing interest “publicly and otherwise” in joining the pact.

Canada continues to watch Brexit proceedings — the U.K. is Canada’s biggest European trading partner, and thus the crown jewel of an EU-Canada trade deal that provisionally came into effect in late 2017. (SD-Agencies)

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