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Crisis in WTO and the Perspective To Overcome It

Student: Elizaveta Grigoryants

Supervisor: Maxim Bratersky

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Double degree programme in International Relations of the NRU HSE and the University of London (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2020

The economically unfavorable situation prevailing in the post-war period showed countries that free trade needed a push, after which the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 was elaborated and only later, in 1995 it was created the World Trade Organization (WTO). Initially, the organization was very effective, global GDP took off, international trade was developing at a rapid pace, and wealth level within countries grew. There is a range of advantages in the WTO trading system, from which the whole international community won. The cost of living were reduced, a wider choice of goods and services appeared as well as economic benefits and increasing incomes. The level of unemployment decreased, and the degree of foreign economic activity grew up. The particular political benefits emerged; it became easier to ensure equal rights and chances for all the member states. Already in the days of the WTO functioning, an effective Dispute Settlement Mechanism was created, which contributed to the strengthening of the international stability of the entire international trade system. Global GDP has grown by 250%, and international trade has increased by about 270%. An independent and professional process for resolving disputes and conflicts was the basis of such a huge success. However, unexpectedly for everyone, the organization is facing a crisis and resides in a state of stagnation. Nevertheless, if an organization was so successful, how could it be brought to a critical point and left on the verge of collapse? There are many reasons for contradictions to appear. One of the reasons, which was among the most important ones, is the forced suspension of the activity of the main engine within the organization- the Appellate body. The work is therefore aimed at searching for an answer of whether the organization can overcome this crisis and whether it is possible for countries to come to a mutual resolution, or it is time to concentrate on regional trade organizations and bilateral agreement systems?

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