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August 1, 2019

Canada and the EU agree to a temporary replacement for the WTO appeal body

The United States is still blocking the processes to appoint new judges to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Appellate Body , which makes final rulings in trade disputes and, with judges' mandates expiring after a set period the Body will run short of judges on December 11, 2019.

The U.S. has criticised a series of aspects of how the Appellate Body functions. Several WTO members have argued that the U.S. has not engaged sufficiently in discussions to resolve the problem. It is likely that the Appellate Body will cease operations for a long time.

In order to avoid a vacuum in regard to their trade interactions, Canada and the European Union (EU) have agreed on an interim appeal arbitration arrangement based on existing WTO rules.

The interim arrangement will apply to trade disputes between Canada and the EU in the event the Appellate Body is unable to hear appeals and will remain in effect until the Appellate Body is fully operational.

The WTO Dispute Settlement Body has been notified of the Canada-EU interim appeal arrangement.


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