Chicago Journal of International Law


The World Trade Organization ("WTO"), only six years old, faces two formidable challenges. First, it must mobilize support to confront determined and growing attacks from outside groups and individuals who proclaim that the organization lacks democratic accountability and is merely a front for multinational corporations and dehumanizing capitalist values. Second, even as it attempts to mobilize its resources to meet these onslaughts, the WTO finds its own institutional viability jeopardized by internal constitutional flaws that play into the hands of opponents: namely, the pressure to "legislate" new rules-through a highly efficient new dispute settlement system-that flout the mandate that dispute settlement judgments must neither add to nor diminish the existing rights and obligations of WTO members. The United States faces a different, though related, set of challenges. In a world of increasing technological and economic integration, it must continue to balance and rebalance a defense of national sovereignty against grants of authority over economic and social policy to international organizations such as the WTO. The United States must also devise domestic political mechanisms that provide greater democratic accountability with regard to decisions affecting US international obligations. [CONT]

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