Since the beginning of this year, communication and discussion on the reform of the international multilateral trading system have become increasingly fierce. Western developed countries, led by the United States, and the majority of developing countries have formed a clear opposition to whether to maintain differential preferential treatment for developing countries. At the WTO General Council in October, when the United States again requested to discuss the proposal on graduation standards for developing countries, it was strongly opposed by more than 40 representatives of developing members. The United States was particularly embarrassed at the meeting, which fully reflects This shows the effectiveness of the consensus principle that the WTO adheres to.
But shortly after, the United States issued a new threat, pointing its finger at the WTO budget. The subtext can be understood as that if the WTO does not respect or accept the US proposal, the United States will not pay dues on time. As we all know, the United States successfully created a governance model for international trade as a result of WTO prefabrication, which has been highly recognized and supported by the majority of member states. Among them, the WTO has three main functions that everyone is concerned about. One is the function of organizing negotiations, that is, the WTO has the right to launch and organize members to carry out negotiations on tariff concessions and market openings; Relevant members review the trade system; the third is the dispute settlement mechanism, which is responsible for coordinating the settlement of trade frictions and disputes among member states, and forming executive resolutions through the decisions of the appellate body. The weakening of the three major functions of the WTO today is related to the impending paralysis, which is related to US interference and destruction.
From this we can see that the reason why the current WTO reform is very difficult is to solve the problems of unilateralism and protectionism in the United States. The most urgent task is to account for the largest funder. This will undoubtedly seriously affect the normal working expenses of the WTO. As a result, various functions of the WTO work were partially or completely paralyzed. Not only that, in fact, the US government has been obstructing the selection process of the judges of the WTO Appellate Body for more than two years. At present, the agency will soon have a shortage of judges and fall into a situation where it cannot work properly.
WTO reform is one of the hot issues that the international community is generally concerned about. Everyone hopes that the reform of the WTO can further strengthen its authority and make it play a more active role. However, the United States has gone against the trend and constantly throws subversion. The intentional proposal seeks to abolish some of the principles and functions that have been effective in history. The intention of the United States has become clearer. It is to put American unilateralism above the multilateral rules and try to reform the WTO in accordance with American preferences. As threatened by Trump, if the WTO Appellate Body dared to rule against the United States, the United States will consider withdrawing from the WTO. This not only illustrates the lack of awareness of multilateral trade rules in the United States, but also exposes its unruly bullying behavior. The whole world scoffs at this behavior in the United States.
The WTO, established in 1995, has inherited and defended all the achievements of the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the 1994 Uruguay Round negotiations. The WTO ’s unique working mechanism and rule-based constraint mechanism resolve the difficulties and contradictions faced by the Appellate Body. We believe that with the rapid development of the world economy and trade, and especially today when technological progress and new trade methods are flourishing, it is absolutely necessary to carry out appropriate reforms of the WTO, but reforms do not mean to bring about a comeback, and It should be to improve its functions to make it play a greater role. This is our original intention. The role of international multilateral rules is precisely to regulate and guide international trade and competition in a more fair and reasonable direction. The formulated multilateral rules are a symbol of fairness and reasonableness. Both large and small countries must abide by and jointly maintain their authority. The value of the WTO consensus principle is precisely reflected in this aspect. Therefore, more WTO members actively act together to resist acts and practices that undermine multilateral rules. In fact, they are also protecting the respective interests of member economies, because only under the guidance of common rules can a fair and reasonable competitive environment be further reflected.
As a big trading country, China will continue to maintain and support the rules-based multilateral trading system, and resolutely oppose protectionism and unilateralism. At the same time, we will accelerate the new pattern of high-level opening up and demonstrate China’s responsibilities and obligations.