The US’ move poses a challenge to the WTO and its basic

principles including that of the most favored nation and national treatment. If the US gets its way and introdu

ces the “American First” policy to the WTO as part of the reform, the WTO system would suffer a deadly blow.

It is imperative therefore that the WTO reform strengthens its dispute settlement mechanism, which is at the heart o

f the multilateral trade system, to overcome its existen

tial crisis. Besides, the principle of starting the reform from the least complicated areas should be adopted to carry o

ut deep and far-reaching WTO reforms so that it can accommodate the new trends in international trade.

As the largest developing and developed economies, China and the US generally represent the collective interests of the develo

ping and developed worlds. If the two countries make a breakthrough in the ongoin

g talks to resolve their trade disputes, they could join hands to drive the WTO reform forward.

And, as James Carafano, director of foreign policy studies at the Washin