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USTR issues critical report on WTO Appellate Body

WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Trade Representative's office on Tuesday published its first comprehensive report on the World Trade Organization's Appellate Body, criticizing what it called the body's "persistent overreaching" and failure to comply with WTO rules.

USTR said the proper functioning of the Appellate Body had a disproportionate impact on the United States since more than one-quarter of all cases involved challenges to U.S. laws and other measures.

Washington, whose blocking of the appointment of new judges essentially shut down the Appellate Body in December, said WTO members need to address the underlying problems to ensure a lasting reform of the dispute settlement system of the WTO. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder Editing by Chris Reese)