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Is the WTO becoming more irrelevant?

March 23, 2022 – Posing a recent question from The National Interest, is the World Trade Organization (WTO) drifting to further irrelevance as “Cold War rivalries reemerge and divisions between competing economic systems intensify?”

The WTO opened markets for Russia and China, giving them equal status in writing international trade rules. Russia, supported by China, are seeing key countries moving to strip Russia’s most-favored-status (MFN) with Russia’s WTO benefits coming under attack blocking imports from Russia altogether despite their WTO rights.

Expelling Russia from the WTO may be difficult given the fact that Russia could block its own suspension. China too, would undoubtedly not support an expulsion resolution. “Critics believe the WTO has made it too easy for authoritarian systems to derive significant benefits while contributing little in return,” according to the report.


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