What is needed to restore the WTO Appellate Body?


Import & export

About trade

Published: 22 May 2023

The WTO Appellate Body has not been functioning since the end of 2019. What has caused this crisis and what could be done to get the Appellate Body up and running again?

The US, among others, has raised criticism against the Appellate Body and blocked the appointment of new members. This is why the Appellate Body has not been able to conduct its work. The National Board of Trade Sweden has looked into parts of this criticism.

– It is true, in some cases, that the Appellate Body has taken too long to issue its reports. It would be preferable if the parties and the Appellate Body were able to be flexible and engage in mutual discussions in cases where a dispute is complex and needs more time. In our view, the problem is not in the drafting of the rules of the Appellate Body themselves, but rather how the rules have been interpreted and applied in practice, says legal adviser Emilie Eriksson.

Read the full interview and download the analysis: The WTO Appellate Body Crisis: A contribution to the ongoing discussions

This analysis is an independent publication by the National Board of Trade Sweden and does not reflect or represent the formal position or views of the Swedish Government nor those of the European Union.