From the Overview: "Due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the World Trade Organization (WTO) canceled its 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) planned for June 2020. The biennial meeting, which usually involves active U.S. participation, was widely anticipated as an action-forcing event for the WTO amid serious challenges facing the multilateral trading system. Some members had hoped key results for ongoing negotiations could help bolsterthe WTO's relevance. In addition, a dispute settlement (DS) crisis continues, with the Appellate Body ceasing to operate in December 2019, and no consensus on solutions. Broader reforms of the institution also remain under active discussion, including some U.S. proposals. While MC12 and other meetings were suspended, members are attempting to continue some WTO operations virtually. Members will also face selecting new leadership, as WTO Director-General Azevêdo announced plans to step down in fall 2020, a year before his term's end. [...] Members of Congress have expressed support for ongoing WTO reform effort, sought clarification on the positions of the Administration, and proposed trade-related legislation in response to COVID-19. In May, some Members introduced joint resolutions to withdraw from the WTO."
CRS In Focus, IF11513
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/