EU and Canada agree on an interim appeal arrangement for disputes in the World Trade Organization

EU and Canada yesterday agreed on an interim appeal arbitration arrangement for potential future trade disputes. The agreed rules will apply in the likely event the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is unable to hear appeals as of December 2019. The interim arrangement is based on existing rules of the WTO and aims to preserve an effective and binding dispute settlement system, and thus thepossibility to enforce the multilateral trade rules. An enduring absence of consensus between WTO members to fill the vacancies on the WTO Appellate Body risks currently undermining the viability of the international rules-based trade system. While an interim solution might become necessary, the resolution of the blockage of the existing Appellate Body remains a clearpriority for both partners. Both EU and Canada intend to continue working with all WTO members to restore a fully operational Appellate Body without delay.