WTO’s existential crisis

Syllabus: GS-II, Subject: International Relations, Topic: International institutions, agencies and fora, Issue: World Trade Organization(WTO)

Context: 13th biennial ministerial meeting of WTO ended without significant accomplishment.

Issues in WTO:

  • WTO rules challenge countries’ right to implement Public Stockholding (PSH) programs for food distribution.
  • Outdated criteria for price support assessment hinder effective PSH programs.
  • Industrialised nations’ subsidies to overcapacity and over-fishing (OCOF) in shipping fleets remain unregulated.
  • The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) crisis persists, with the US blocking Appellate Body member appointments since 2019.


  • US strategy involves de-judicialising trade multilateralism to weaken bodies like the WTO’s dispute settlement.
  • De-judicialisation aims to reclaim decision-making power from international courts.
Scroll to Top