Representatives from China and the European Union issued heavy criticisms of the United States’ protectionist policies, Reuters reports, which they claim have brought the World Trade Organization on the brink of collapse.
“The multilateral trading system is in a deep crisis and the United States is at its epicenter,” said EU ambassador to the WTO Mark Vanheukelen.
The Trump administration has accused the WTO of failing to hold China’s feet to the fire over market access and reform, as was hoped when it acceded to the organization in 2001.
US ambassador Dennis Shea said during the meeting, a biannual review of US trade policies, that China’s “unfair competitive practices” were harming foreign companies and breaching WTO rules.
The Chinese attendees hit back at the US for putting the system into “paralysis” by blocking the appointment of a new judge to the WTO’s judiciary committee – the Appellate Body – which is used to resolve trade disputes. Shea said that the Body’s decision-making process was “wayward” and that it was operating outside of its remit.