The system of settling trade disputes, the WTO, or World trade Organization, has been n place since 1995 when 24 nations signed on, replacing GATT which commenced in 1948. Under the WTO, world trade has increased far more than it would under adversarial conditions.
The WTO is the guardian of the global rules-based system of trade, evening the field between big and small nations.
The WTO maintains a dispute settlement system where an impartial referee decides whether the rules have been broken. Its very existence has discouraged cheating.
But the U.S., does not want a level playing field, it wants a “U.S. only” judgment. The U.S. has stopped the renewal of the current WTO administrator and also lowered the number of appellate judges from four to three, the minimum number required to hear a case. If any of the three disagrees, the case in question cannot be heard.
While all that might sound beneficial to America in the short run, the long run looks much different. With the U.S. opting out of trade deals and unilaterally taking actions against other countries, other nations are now aligning themselves with other, more reliable, countries, some of which are considered adversaries, like Iran, China and Russia.
The U.S. is no longer seen as a reliable partner, certainly not by any African nations or most South American nations and even the countries of the Euro zone.
Germany and other EU nations are buying oil and gas from Russia, China is using soft power to build infrastructure in Africa, and the “Stan” countries of Central Asia.
Other countries continue to honor the Iran nuclear deal; all other countries are proceeding under the Paris accord.
Sometime in the near future, America’s fate will be sealed.
Two events will take place almost simultaneously.

1) Because of Trump’s tax plan, ten trillion dollars will be added to the debt. As that happens, the credit rating of the country will fall to less than investment grade.

2) The Chinese Yuan, a stronger currency of a more reliable, fiscally sound nation, will become the reserve currency of the world.

When those two events occur, America will no longer be able to use the threat of forcing other countries out of the SWIFT banking system of international trades. American will lose its ability to influence or direct international policy.
America will regret using its power for personal gain at the expense of smaller nations, but it will be too late and a once great empire will be no more.

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