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Geneva — The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is scrambling to develop a plan for the biggest reform in its 23-year history after US President Donald Trump brought the world’s top trade court to the brink of collapse by blocking appointments of its judges and threatening to pull the US out of the organisation. Trump’s administration has targeted the WTO, the watchdog of global commerce, as part of his wider campaign against trade arrangements he contends have cost hundreds of thousands of US jobs. Proposals to shore up the organisation include increasing the number of judges and rewriting trade rules for industrial subsidies, state-owned firms and technology transfer. These ideas and others will be discussed when Canada hosts a dozen trade ministers in Ottawa on Wednesday and Thursday. At stake is the effectiveness — even the survival — of a key stabilising force in the global economy. Since its founding in 1995, the WTO has stopped governments from arbitrarily raising trade barriers ...

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