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June 12, 2018
WTO's dispute settlement body had a very busy year in 2017
According to the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Annual Report covering activities in 2017, the organization's dispute settlement had a very busy year as the number of active disputes increased significantly compared with 2016, extending the trend of recent years.
WTO member countries bring disputes to the WTO if they think their rights under trade agreements are being infringed. Settling disputes is the responsibility of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB).
Active cases are where a panel or arbitration has been composed and where preparations are ongoing for the finalization of a panel arbitration or Appellate Body report.
In 2017, the three WTO legal divisions dealt with 38.5 panel, appellate and arbitration proceedings on average each month, compared with 32.3 in 2016.
At the end of 2017, there were 25 active panel proceedings, seven appellate proceedings and three arbitration proceedings.
The United States, Canada and Qatar submitted the most requests for consultations concerning new disputes, with three each, followed by Russia and Ukraine with two. The U.S. also figured most frequently as respondent, being cited in four cases, followed by Canada, which was cited in three.
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