Since the beginning of the year until April certain developments have taken place in WTO dispute settlement. Are there hidden messages in these developments? There have been seven trade disputes lodged in the WTO, mostly amongst the key players in international trade. Noticeably out of these four have been complaints by the United States, three of which have involved China. Furthermore two Appellate Body Reports were issued along with two Panel Reports. In all of these Reports the disputes involve the US, although here the US has been the respondent. There is thus at any rate in this snap shot seemingly a healthy exchange as between different members in the WTO dispute settlement. However, this picture looked at closer reveals two cases wherein the US is the respondent in allegations for non-compliance of previous WTO rulings. In fact the US thus far has been prominent amongst members on the receiving end of allegations of non-compliance of previous Panel/Appellate Body rulings. This can be a deterrent on members wanting to take the US to account.
This issue has a particular focus on development. First, there is a contribution by Emilios Avgouleas on international efforts at financial sector development to facilitate private development finance. Second, there are three distinct contributions from the University of Georgia, USA, by Matthew Stoddard, Jessica Lawrence, and Todd Swanson respectively which focus on the issues related to liberalisation of international trade in the complimentary and alternative medicine sector (Trade Liberalisation and Traditional Medical Knowledge and (Medical) Services). I am grateful to Dr Kim Van der Borght (University of Hull, UK) for drawing these three contributions to the attention of the MJIEL; and in turn convey (and endorse) Dr Kim Van der Borghts appreciation for the project verbatim as follows: The support of the University of Georgia School of Law for this project is gratefully acknowledged. The research would not have been possible without the invaluable insights gleaned from discussions of the research group with Professor Flynn Warren, Clinical Professor at the College of Pharmacy and Professor Brent Berlin, Graham Perdue Professor of Anthropology - both at the University of Georgia.
Asif H Qureshi