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The WTO is in over its head in Trump's trade war

Textiles with broken lines across them
Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Worried that President Trump is embarking on a global trade war, U.S. allies and adversaries alike are turning to the World Trade Organization to mediate — and getting nowhere.

The big picture: The WTO has no track record of dealing effectively with intellectual property theft or state-run corporations — two of the biggest modern trade obstacles — and takes months to resolve disputes at a time when the trade landscape shifts on a daily basis, according to trade experts.