the WTO is for the benefit of the public, not a tool for par

embers. If its members cannot reform the architecture and resolve the key issues, they may all end up in various regional groups.

“Many bilateral tensions or challenges countries are facing today requir

e a multilateral response, and WTO reform is definitely needed, especially in the area

s of trade and investment,” said Xue Rongjiu, deputy director of the Beijing-based China Society for WTO Studies.

Chen Fengying, a senior economics researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary Internationa

l Relations, said the US government seems to have made driving WTO reform its priority so that the country can claim the high gr

ound in global trade and lead the process for making new rules and establishing a new global trading system.

This move poses a challenge to the WTO and its basic principles including that of most favored nation status and national treatment, she said.

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