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The World Trade Organisation has been making more progress than you think

The irony is that Trump launched his attacks on the body just as it began to show signs of revival

By David Tinline  

The World Trade Organisation (or L'Organisation mondiale du commerce). Photo: Xu Jinquan/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Multilateral institutions often seem ill matched to the challenges they are supposed to address. Some would argue that the World Trade Organisation is a prime example of this problem, citing the prolonged deadlock in global trade negotiations among other issues.

No doubt the WTO does have real shortcomings but it continues to play an important role. This was demonstrated during the 2008 financial crisis when the WTO did its job and forestalled a…

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