Roberto Azevêdo (l), Secretary General of the WTO, and Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), speak at a press conference at the Federal Chancellery. (picture alliance/Arne Immanuel Bänsch/dpa)
Germany is among the biggest profiteers of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), achieving income gains worth 66 billion dollars through its membership, according to a study by Germany's Bertelsmann Stiftung foundation.
The US, China and Germany profited most from their WTO membership by far, with the USA netting 87 billion dollars and China 86 billion dollars in income gains.
"In 2016, the WTO created a total increase in prosperity of around 855 billion dollars for all its members combined," the foundation said on Monday.
The WTO includes 164 member states, and most of them profit from their membership, according to the study. Non-members are said to struggle with a loss of prosperity and a decline in exports.
"The WTO is the operating system of the global economy, ensuring on a daily basis that goods and services can circulate in a stable, regulated environment," Christian Bluth, a trade expert at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, said.
The WTO finds itself in a state of paralysis as it prepares to mark 25 years since its founding on January 1. The United States – accusing the organization's judges of overreach – issued a block on new appointments to its Appellate Body. With an insufficient number of judges, the panel can no longer take on new cases, leaving the future of the international rules-based trade system in doubt.
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