Responsibilities of the WTO – Dispute Settlement

World Trade Organization  pic

World Trade Organization
Image: wto.org

A business lawyer with experience serving such international firms as Fujifilm, Claucio Mashimo most recently served as legal and regulatory affairs manager at Jequiti Cosmetics. Claucio Mashimo has undertaken postgraduate training in foreign trade and international business through Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo.

The body tasked with overseeing international trade norms, the World Trade Organization (WTO) carries out many essential economic responsibilities on behalf of its 164 member states. For instance, if a country believes that another country is violating international trade regulations, it can bring the noncompliant country before the WTO, which in turn adjudicates the dispute.

During these dispute settlement proceedings, WTO representatives act much like judges tasked with hearing-out experts in international trade as they interpret the prevailing rules and argue for one side or the other. Recent disputes appearing before the WTO include one brought by Colombia regarding imported alcohol from the European Union.

Like in many court systems, members of the WTO have the right to appeal the organization’s decisions. For example, Russia recently filed an appeal regarding a WTO ruling against its pork import regulations.