U.S. Statement by Ambassador Maria Pagán at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body Meeting
Appellate Body Appointments: Proposal By Some WTO Members (WT/DSB/W/609/REV.21)
Geneva, April 27, 2022
Thank you, Chair. This is my first DSB meeting since arriving in Geneva, and I am pleased to be here. The United States values the work of Members in the DSB, and I look forward to supporting you as Chair in this important body.
Members are aware of the longstanding U.S. concerns with WTO dispute settlement.
Those concerns remain unaddressed, and the United States does not support the proposed decision.
But let me be clear: The United States supports WTO dispute settlement reform. Like Ambassador Tai, I have personally participated in various dispute settlement proceedings, and I can appreciate the benefits of a system that effectively meets the needs of Members.
WTO dispute settlement currently fails in this regard – for many years it has not met the needs of Members, including the United States, for example, due to its complexity, delays, lack of transparency, and interpretive overreach. We know well that many Members share U.S. concerns with the functioning of the system and its negative impact on the WTO’s negotiating and monitoring functions.
This fact underscores the importance of understanding better the interests of all Members, and not just “what does the United States want”. A true reform discussion should aim to ensure that WTO dispute settlement reflects the real interests of Members, and not prejudge what a reformed system would look like.
My delegation has been, and will continue to be, hard at work meeting with Members to better understand the interests of all Members. This important first step provides us with the greatest chance of achieving durable, lasting reform. That is the goal of the United
States and we are prepared for continued and deepened engagement with Members on that basis.