Captain America and the Tarnishing of the Crown: The Feud between the WTO Appellate Body and the USA

Mexico - 1 August 2018

Trade topics: International Trade Law

The Appellate Body is considered the jewel in the crown of the WTO dispute settlement system. However, the United States has become increasingly assertive in its efforts to control judicial activism at the WTO. This article examines judicial activism in the Appellate Body, and discusses the efforts of the United States to constrain the Appellate Body in this context. It also analyzes US actions and proposals regarding the dispute settlement systems of the NAFTA, in order to place the WTO debate in a wider context. It concludes that reforms are necessary to break the negative feedback loop between deadlock in multilateral trade negotiations and judicial activism.

Author(s): Bradly J. Condon