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Death Of WTO? Exploring The Future Of Regional Treaty Among South Asian Nations – OpEd


The Bretton Woods agreement has not merely facilitated the birth of world Bank and IMW but also the third international economic organization WTO. With the culmination of GATT into WTO, it has served as a facilitator of trade negotiation and adjudicating the disputes, between the nations since more than two decades. The gravity of time has transformed the apex court of trade at verge of extinction. The US impediment in appointment of the member to the dispute settlement body since one and half year has compelled the apex court of settling trade disputes to face the biggest crisis in 23 years after its existence. In this short piece We are going to analyze the  importance of WTO in Post- globalization era, and suggesting ways to dwell out from this international crisis and the future of regional trade alignments. 


The evolution of Human life has witnessed the rise in the standard of living through different human endeavor. The inception of possibilism school of thought has challenged the Naturalism school of thought has given the passage of human development a new shape. Trade is one such endeavor which has substantial say in the life of a common individual across the nation. Evolution of Silk route, which paved the way of interconnection of trade routes from East to west Since 2nd century to 18th century was the first to internationalize the trade. Subsequently General  Agreement on Trade and Tariff which succeeded in lowering the tariff and created the greater ambience of trade between the nations also failed to serve the purpose of Pan- globe body.

In 1995 GATT finally culminated into WTO, since the inception of this organization as a Apex body of settling trade disputes it has settled 593 disputes till date. Such success of WTO primarily  depends on its governance of dispute settlement unit which works on Consensus. In my opinion Consensus is an utopian objective, as its philosophical analysis also states that the Social change, depicting the better society can not be achieved. The drafting of the Provision of DSU reveals the lack of farsightedness of the then drafting committee of this provision. In the next segment We are going to analyze how WTO can be rescued from its biggest crisis. 


Article 17.9 of the WTO stipulates that any appeal would not be taken by appellate body if the membership of the body is lack of the quorum of 4 and the appointment of the member or reappointment would only be possible if all the member state agrees. Since it is evident from the present crisis that the agreement between the member states under DSU is not achievable task due to vested interested, it is imperative to amend the article , but our assertion of the amendment of this amendment can be countered by its non- feasibility in the present scenario as the DSU is currently reduced to four member body.

The other way to tackle this crisis to explore the treaty making outside the WTO. The western School of thought or those who are adamant capitalist supporter of American hegemony would disagree with our this suggestion as this would make this body redundant. As Joseph Stiglitz argued that globalization today is not working for the sustainability of global economy. It also exacerbate the global institution emanating from the Globalization, and as we previously argued WTO, is one of them.  The Marshall Plan of US was the first experiment to establish western hegemony and  followed by this Bretton woods conference was the final nail in the coffin which made them successful. The table turned after two decades because WTO, started breaking the US dominance, and gave ruling in the developing and under developing nation. It has been tested fact that in the matter of Shared responsibility the north- south dialogue failed the expectation of global community. In the Concluding segment we would argue why South Asian countries is providing an optimistic sight in the changing global order.


The recently concluded Regional comprehensive economic partnership between the ASEAN nations, opting out of major partner, India has proved the fact that the cycle of economic dominance is moving towards Asia and world have to look towards Asia. It has comprised of 10 member states of Association of South East Asian nations worth of 49.5 trillion dollar GDP and half of the world’s population. The death of WTO would mean the death of multilateralism and the better way to substitute this is RTAs. For justice to be the first virtue , certain things must be true of us. The established free trade agreement between ASEAN countries and unprecedented economic and trade partnership is a good omen in collapsing globalised order.

*Rajesh Ranjan and Niranjan Kumar. Rajesh is a Second year student at National Law University Jodhpur and Contributing author on legal and public policy issues at different platform. Niranjan is Final year student at CLuster Innovation Center, Delhi university. Niranjan has a keen interest in economics.

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