US wants its own changes to WTO dispute settlement, but downplays WTO

July 12, 2017: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has told the US Senate Finance Committee on June 21 that he is working to advance each point of President Trump’s trade policy agenda, which includes promoting U.S. sovereignty, enforcing U.S. trade laws, leveraging American economic strength, protecting U.S. intellectual property rights, and reducing America’s persistent trade deficit.

“We have also been active in identifying countries that have serious problems with protection of intellectual property, and we are reviewing and amending our action plans to ensure that we can identify violations and take appropriate enforcement actions…

“For many years, the team at USTR has been engaged in the WTO dispute process regarding European Union subsidies for Airbus and EU claims of American subsidies for Boeing. On June 9, a WTO Compliance Panel rejected 28 of 29 claims made by the European Union. Make no mistake; this was a big victory for the United States.

“I look forward to continuing the trend of defending American businesses against unfair claims from foreign nations. Further, we will not hesitate to file claims against nations that do not follow the rules…

“We expect to see meaningful changes in order to maintain the relevance of the system. Looking ahead to December, we are pursuing successful ministerial in Buenos Aires this December that reinvigorates the WTO. We do not advocate a meeting that seeks major deliverables or significant negotiated outcomes.