Hitting where it hurts: Retaliation requests in the WTO
Diego Bonomo 01 March 2014
When a dispute in the WTO does not reach any resolution, the offended member country can request the right to retaliate against the offender. This column reviews the profile of most common retaliation-requesting members. There is a preference among certain countries to either pursue retaliation, or resist compliance. The magnitude of requests and the means of retaliation are also discussed. Overall, requesting retaliation is an important tool of analysis, as it often reveals a country’s goals in the WTO disputes.
When a trade dispute being adjudicated in the WTO’s dispute settlement system reaches the end without resolution, the offended member country requests the right to retaliate – or as the diplomats call it – request the suspension of concessions and other obligations vis-à-vis the offender (Shadikhodjaev 2009).
From the WTO’s inception to the end of 2013, there have been 36 such requests related to 28 disputes. In five cases, typically with more than one dispute settlement number, there were multiple requests by different countries against a single offender. Those cases are:
WTO, trade disputes, WTO retaliations