Tuesday, April 5, 2016

WTO ruling on Russian trade ban coming

The World Trade Organization is likely to issue a ruling this week on a complaint the European Union filed against Russia’s ban on importing pork.

But it’s going to be hush-hush, according to news reports from Europe. The WTO will tell the Russians and Europeans involved, but not make an announcement.

The Russian ban was officially for food safety reasons, but almost everybody knows it was retaliation related to Russia’s invasion of the Crimean section of the Ukraine and ongoing attacks along the border.

Europe, the United States, Canada and many other countries imposed economic sanctions on Russia because of that military action along the Eastern border of the Ukraine.

But even if the WTO rules Russia was wrong, it will still take a dog's age to result in approval for the Europeans to impose retaliatory sanctions.

It all goes to show that the WTO needs major reforms so it can put immediate teeth into enforcement of trade agreements.