Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) (photo), proclaimed at the last Davos meeting: the USA have all the rights to determine its own national security interests, ‘Nezavisimaya Gazeta’ notes from Moscow.
This is an evidence of the WTO weakening as the main world body which regulates fair global trade. Up from now one can expect an increase in protectionism, injustice and fragmentation of the global trading space.
Since the days of President Donald Trump, the WTO has been under increasing pressure from the “leading economy of the world,” which is increasingly resorting to unscrupulous foreign trade tools: sanctions, export controls, subsidies and tariffs. The policy of ‘economic nationalism’ is being strengthened.
The American authorities defiantly ignore the norms and principles of the WTO. But they blame China – Washington has accused Beijing of ‘building an authoritarian economy’ incompatible with a trading system based on market production. But it is President Biden who has blocked the appointment of new members to the WTO appellate body – the body, which makes final decisions on trade disputes.
Since the days of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), the predecessor of the WTO, members of the organization have reached common agreement that the "national security" argument should not be used to protect economic interests. Such agreements are no longer valid today.
Perhaps the set of rules for international trade will move away from ‘global agreements’ towards ‘regional agreements’. New regional alliances, blocs and partnerships will form.
The US already has a similar scheme to the countries of Indo-Pacific region. A cooperation – in certain areas that are of interest to partners – is possible here.
This regionalization of world trade and the destruction of the centralized mechanism of the WTO will lead to the strengthening of the main centers of economic power – the USA, China and the EU. Weaker economies under these conditions will have to adapt.
Russia, in this case, may have grounds for withdrawing from WTO. There are several factors in favor of this decision:
a) anti-Russian sanctions from the West;
b) increased state intervention in the Russian economy;
c) the rise of the United States as the WTO ‘hegemon’, which is unacceptable for political reasons.
…The WTO, with its global scope of regulation, is in crisis due to the growing "economic nationalism" of the main players in world trade.
De facto, it is primarily the United States, which are destroying the WTO for its own interests, since the WTO framework has begun to interfere with US policy. The West, in general, wants to create a new world economic relations system where it will dominate.
But as Shakespeare said: “The morning sun never lasts a day…”
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