Here is former UN Ambassador John Bolton writing about the DSU in the WSJ:
Agreed to during the Uruguay Round of world trade talks in 1994, the DSU has had some successes. But it is often criticized for failing to deter violations of the WTO’s substantive trade provisions and for too often exceeding its mandate by imposing new obligations on one or more parties, particularly against American interests.
This alarming trend extends beyond trade. A rising number of international agreements create “judicial” or “legislative” bodies that interpret and expand obligations well beyond what is laid out in underlying treaties, placing them beyond the effective control of domestic democratic institutions. This trend raises legitimate fears among states that they will lose sovereign authority. ...
The burden properly lies with the White House to specify how it will confront the DSU’s failings, many of which seem embedded in its design. Whatever steps President Trump recommends should be understood and measured against the larger dangers of global governance. The shadows cast by other flawed multilateral “authorities” make clear that U.S. sovereignty is at stake.
I have a few questions and comments:
1. Does he really care about the WTO and the DSU, or was this just an excuse to complain about global governance generally?
2. Is it possible he is angling for an appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the WTO in the Trump administration?
3. How could the DSU at the same time be ineffective ("failing to deter violations") and infringe on national sovereignty through judicial overreach? If it cannot deter violations, than expansive interpretations are kind of meaningless.
4. How can the DSU deter violations of the substantive trade provisions without having some entity interpret those provisions? How else would you know whether there is a violation?
5. The DSU works pretty well, and at most needs a few tweaks. I'm more interested in what Bolton thinks of ISDS. Maybe I should ask him on twitter.
6. I can imagine that the Trump administration will propose changes to the DSU, and I am genuinely curious about what they have in mind.