• Archive for January, 2019

    The Dawn of the e-WTO

    by  • January 27, 2019 • Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Cho_Sungjoon thumbBy Sungjoon Cho


    On the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum this week, seventy six WTO member countries agreed to launch a negotiation on electronic commerce.  Yes, we all know that e-commerce has recently been skyrocketing, becoming part of our everyday lives.  Meanwhile, the WTO has been criticized for having failed to provide effective multilateral rules to regulate e-commerce.  I see a bit of déjà vu from the Uruguay Round here, in particular within the context of the North-South tension.  Developed countries such as the United States, the European Union and Japan are spearheading this new initiative, while developing countries such as China and India seem to be lukewarm about the initiative.  China joined the initiative with the reservation that developing countries’ concerns must be reflected. India argued that the Doha Development Round must be addressed before starting a new set of negotiations in the WTO. (more…)

    The Resiliency of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism (Or Not)

    by  • January 12, 2019 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    Cho_Sungjoon thumbBy Sungjoon Cho [originally posted on the International Economic Law and Policy Blog on January 10, 2019]


    Many worry that the current United States–China trade wars, and negotiations therefrom, might undermine the WTO dispute settlement mechanism (DSM).  Curiously, however, both the United States and China have not completely bypassed the WTO DSM.

    In fact, both countries have invoked the WTO DSM in tandem with their unilateral/bilateral engagements outside of the WTO.  For example, China sued the United States for the latter’s punitive tariffs against the former (here and here).  The United States also filed a complaint against China regarding the latter’s alleged violation of TRIPS, in addition to its execution of the Section 301 procedure on the same complaint.

    One might surmise that the U.S.’ such actions are in contrast to its recent blocking of new Appellate Body members.  So, can we say comfortably that the WTO DSM is resilient?  Or, are these all about merely anteing up political rhetoric?