-Appealing the WTO rulings to the Appellate Body, the United States is abusing its own right as WTO member.
-The United States clearly knows the appeals cannot be processed as the Appellate Body has been non-functioning because of its own sabotage.
-It is evident that the "rules" the United States talks about are not widely-accepted rules, but those written by Washington for Washington.
by Xinhua writer Dong Yue
BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States claims it cherishes "rules," and has peddled a "rules-based international order." But when it comes to rules inconsistent with American interests, the United States does not hesitate to break them.
After the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against the United States in December 2022, Washington has recently appealed those rulings to the Appellate Body. Although WTO members have the right of appeal, the United States is apparently abusing the right. It clearly knows the appeals cannot be processed as the Appellate Body has been non-functioning because of its own sabotage.
So the United States does not aim to find a solution but to block the rulings indefinitely. Such a troubling move has met strong criticism from WTO members, and is new evidence of the United States as a unilateral bully, a rule breaker and a supply chain disruptor.
In March 2018, the United States began imposing Section 232 duties on steel and aluminum imports from certain WTO members in the name of "national security." Given that Washington has exempted 70 percent of its steel imports from the additional duties, the restricted imports only accounted for 5 percent of U.S. steel consumption, in which defense use took only roughly 0.15 percent. In other words, instead of protecting national security, those Section 232 measures are overwhelmingly protectionist.
The WTO rulings against these additional duties have demonstrated once again that "national security exception" should not be abused.
The rulings are a reassurance on safeguarding global free trade, and is also a warning to the United States, a country indulged in abusing the concept of "national security" to pursue self-interests. Under this guise, the United States has in recent years added a string of foreign companies to its "entity list," imposed long-arm jurisdiction and enacted protectionist statutes, including the Chips and Science Act.
These are just the tip of the iceberg of U.S. actions that undermine global trade order. Official data showed that in global trade, the United States is a major rule breaker, responsible for two-thirds of violations of WTO rules. As the United States loses more frequently in cases sued within the WTO, the country has tried to subvert the trade organization's dispute settlement mechanism. Washington has blocked the appointment of new judges in the WTO Appellate Body, leading to an impasse in the Appellate Body since December 2019.
So far, 127 WTO members have attempted on more than 60 occasions to start the selection process of filling vacancies on the Appellate Body. Still, the United States blocked the proposed decision.
It is evident that the "rules" the United States talks about are not widely-accepted rules, but those written by Washington for Washington.
At a critical moment to revive a world economy bewildered by unilateralism, protectionism and the COVID-19 pandemic, the WTO's rulings have undoubtedly boosted the international community's confidence in free trade. The right choice for Washington is to call off its WTO farce for its own benefits and those of the world.