Get tough on China,  modernise the WTO: UK trade minister

UK’s international trade secretary Liz Truss. Image: Getty.

DHARAMSALA, 31 March: To revive the World Trade Organization(WTO), Britain’s international trade secretary has urged the world to “get tough on China,” and modernise the WTO that she says is “stuck in the 1990s.”

“This is the time to get tough on China and their behaviour in the global trading system, but also modernise the WTO. In many ways it’s stuck in the 1990s,” Financial Times quoted UK’s international trade secretary Liz Truss as saying in an interview.

UK is the current chair of the group of advanced economies and Truss has made the remarks ahead of a virtual meeting of G7 trade ministers.

She has further stated in the report that “the WTO was established when China was 10 per cent the size of the US economy” and that “It is ludicrous that it is still self-designating as a developing country — and those rules need to change.”

Calling it a pressing issue, she has stated in the report that “it will take all sides to compromise to get to a solution. But there has to be a binding dispute resolution process.”

“If the WTO doesn’t reform, the reality is that countries will find alternative mechanisms for developing trade.”

Though the report noted that “the WTO has been immobilised by the trade war between the US and China with the WTO’s  Appellate Body, a court of global trade disabled after former US President Donald Trump blocked the appointments of judges, Truss has however said that she was encouraged to hear the Biden administration’s willingness to work “with the multilateral system.”

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