2. The WTO is a stacked court
The WTO's dispute
settlement procedures were agreed by all member governments. They were not imposed on
Dispute panels rule on whether countries break agreements they have made with each other
in the WTO not on whether domestic laws are barriers to trade. Without
these independent panels, countries could be tempted to settle trade conflict by force.
All three panelists are normally agreed by both sides in a dispute. In the minority of
cases (15 out of almost 200 cases) when the two sides cannot agree, the WTO
director-general selects the panelists.
The US was not required to repeal its law. Instead, Washington negotiated treaties with
relevant trading partners.
[The tuna/dolphin case
came under pre-1995 GATT procedures, not the post-1995 WTO dispute settlement process. The
panel report was never adopted. The US and Mexico settled bilaterally out of
< PREVIOUS BACK TO TOP NEXT >