Case Study on World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement: European Communities — Measures Affecting Meat and Meatproducts (Hormones), Complaint by the United States

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Virginia Tech

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization created to coordinate trading rules among nations. Made up of internationally negotiated trade agreements, the WTO has three main objectives: (1)to assist in the free operation of international trade; (2) to allow continued progress of liberalization of such trade through fair negotiations; and (3) to create a system for the impartial settlement of international trade disputes.

A key component of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). This body, as with the WTO itself, has only been in operation since January of 1995. The WTO, although relatively new, has made significant strides in improving the international trading system and resolving trade disputes. Unlike other international organizations, such as the international Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Bank, the WTO is not controlled by a board of directors, but instead is governed by its member nations. Given this type of arrangement, it is essential that the member nations abide by the signed agreements that govern the operation of the WTO and its Dispute Settlement Body. Otherwise the WTO cannot function as envisioned.

This research argues that the European Union (EU) is presently abusing the system through its actions in the dispute settlement case EC- Hormones, Complaint by the United States. Using tactics designed to delay the resolution of this dispute, the EU has increased the costs ssociated with the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) and threatened the credibility of the WTO.

WTO, Beef, EU