Thirty Nine Degrees, Twenty Nine Degrees discussed on All Things Considered

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WNYC stay with us for all things considered that continues at seven o'clock thirty nine degrees right now it's going to be partly cloudy overnight tonight dropping down to a low of twenty nine degrees tomorrow back up to a high of forty five this is market place I'm car result global trade is complicated we're just gonna stipulate that competing interests who finds a market for what and where and then sells it to whom at what price it gets messy in a hurry that long story made very short is what got us the World Trade Organization the generally recognized arbiter of what's fair in world trade until December the tenth that is after next Tuesday one of the most critical parts of the WTO is gonna stop working the appellate body it's called you can think of it as a Supreme Court of trade it's effectively going to be no more the trump administration has blocked appointment of any new judges to the appellate body in yes the United States in any other member do have veto power to after the tenth when two judges terms expire there won't be enough of them left to keep it running market place's replenish your explains why all of this matters the US is basically about to starve the world trade organization's highest body to death it's a crisis not only of dispute settlement but it is effectively an existential crisis for the WTO itself Jeff shot is a senior fellow at the Peterson institute for international economics the appellate body is the highest trade court on the planet it's where cases from lower down in the WTO are appealed once it is out of the picture there will be no final say when one country suse another cases can be kept in legal limbo frozen in time that will have a corrosive effect on the I'd WTO as an institution without a court to settle things countries who don't like lower court rulings will just end up fighting it out through trade wars are bare knuckled negotiation and shot says not only will the WTO stop being a place for countries to settle disputes it won't really make sense for countries to go to the WTO for other things like negotiating new agreements on how to deal with modern issues like digital trader labor rights Rachel Brewster is a law professor at Duke so basically really under my once the idea in the WTO that it is a rule of law system because no longer will they'll be a way to determine what the law is and how it should be applied to a certain case at least not in a blinding way so why is the trump administration doing this on one level the U. S. is mad over administrative issues it takes too long for cases to be decided certain procedures on always followed that the WTO but ultimately it comes down to sovereignty Jennifer Hillman is a senior fellow at the council on foreign relations and used to serve on the WTO appellate body the United States is basic complaint is that the WTO appellate body is not supposed to be able to take away rights that the United States had when the WTO agreements were put together in nineteen ninety five the US loses about half the cases it's involved in in some of those cases according to the U. S. the appellate body infringed on rights the U. S. as it never agreed to give up in particular the WTO has at times tried to limit how the U. S. punishes countries it accuses of dumping cheap products into its markets a lot of the rest of the world looks on this and thinks well it's just the United States having sour grapes previous administrations had similar objections and some allies have expressed sympathy with some US procedural concerns but none have taken it as far as the trump administration in terms of crippling the WTO is ability to function and there's a reason for that says Homan there's no question that some of this is driven by the fact that I think the trump administration believes that the United States is better off under a power base system that is to say the US is the largest consumer market in the world it's better off the rational does using its might to get what it wants rather than being subject to an international institution basically to go back to the world before the WTO existed that idea is a mistake says Jeffrey shot at the Peterson institute that system failed disputes that involve big powers like the United States and the European Union couldn't be resolved the administration has already started to conduct some trade policy outside of the WTO system the trade war with China for example according to the tax foundation the OECD and the I MF that's drag down economic growth estimates for the US China and the entire global.

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