About News The WTO might return to diplomatic settlements for trade disputes. Here’s why. Dec 20, 2019 Philip Potter and Julia Gray The WTO might return to diplomatic settlements for trade disputes. Here’s why. The global trade appeals system has stalled. Did it ever really work? The World Trade Organization's headquarters in Geneva. (Photo courtesy of The Washington Post)In December, the World Trade Organization’s ability to rule on trade disputes stalled after the Trump administration refused to appoint judges to its Appellate Body. Is this yet another blow to the international liberal order, as some policymakers worry? The answer is most likely no. Like other trade crises that President Trump has provoked, the paralysis in the WTO is less of a departure from the status quo than it might initially appear. The WTO’s dispute settlement understanding (DSU) sought to provide recourse to smaller countries in the global trading system. But poorer nations tend to bring fewer cases than expected. Instead, the WTO’s docket has been dominated by cases like the endless back-and-forth between the United States and the European Union over aircraft production. Diplomatic side deals are the norm. In fact, countries resolve more than 40 percent of cases via private settlements. READ FULL ARTICLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST MONKEY CAGE Philip Potter Philip Potter is an Associate Professor specializing in foreign policy and international relations. He also conducts research in the area of international terrorism and is a principal investigator for a Department of Defense Minerva Initiative project to map and analyze collaborative relationships between terrorist organizations. Read full bio Related Content Philip Potter The High Costs of a Precipitous US Withdrawal from Afghanistan News Batten’s Phil Potter and co-authors discuss how America’s war in Afghanistan — the longest conflict in U.S. history — has morphed from a counterterrorism mission into something more ambitious but less well defined and, ultimately, less successful. Q&A: How Philip Potter Navigates 21st-Century National Security Policy News Since its inception in 2018, the National Security Policy Center at the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy has made something of a name for itself.