U.S.-Venuezela spat threatens to halt WTO trade disputes

Logo is pictured outside the WTO headquarters in Geneva
A logo is pictured outside the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters next to a red traffic light in Geneva, Switzerland, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

March 26, 2019

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization was forced to postpone a regular dispute settlement meeting on Tuesday after the United States refused to recognize Venezuela, diplomats said, potentially putting a long-term obstacle in the WTO’s trade dispute system.

“If one country puts an item on the agenda of every meeting and another country refuses to accept that the agenda can be discussed… then it may take a long time before a meeting can actually take place,” one diplomat said.

The WTO’s dispute settlement body oversees the process of trade disputes, formally adopting rulings and appeals.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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