Germany aims to find a permanent solution for the composition of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Appellate Body by June, Germany said on Wednesday after the United States effectively sealed the fate of the body, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The Appellate Body needs a mininum of three judges to function but the terms of two of the three remaining members of the appeals panel expired on Tuesday without replacements due to a blocking strategy by the United States.
That was a “heavy blow against the rules-based multilateral trade system”, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Reuters, warning that the court was especially needed at a time when the global economy was suffering from a revival of protectionism.
A foreign ministry spokeswoman had earlier said Germany would work with the European Union to devise a temporary solution and she hoped a permanent solution could be found before a WTO ministerial conference in June.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has been blocking appointments to the WTO’s seven-member Appellate Body that rules on trade disputes for more than two years.