Wheat growing on a farm in Huai’an, Jiangsu province

A threat to the viability of the current WTO dispute settlement system is the unilateralism and

protectionism of the United States. Specifically, this mechanism is in crisis because the Unit

ed States has prevented the appointment of new judges to the appellate body. Experts have warned that if th

e appellate body were to shut down because of a lack of judges, global trade governance will be put back 20 years.

Of course the WTO also needs to continually reforming itself so that it can keep up w

ith the times, and many countries have put forward relevant suggestions. For instance, the European Uni

on has released a paper putting forth ideas for a comprehensive modernization of the WTO, and the United States, Eur

ope, and Japan have together submitted a their own proposed reforms. And in November last year, China ann

ounced that it supported necessary reforms of the WTO and raised five proposals that aim to firmly uphold the rules-ba

sed multilateral trading system, resist protectionism, and let the WTO play a bigger role in world trade.