World Trade Organization


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World Trade Organization

(WTO), international organization established in 1995 as a result of the final round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations, called the Uruguay Round. The WTO is responsible for monitoring national trading policies, handling trade disputes, and enforcing the GATT agreements, which are designed to reduce tariffs and other barriers to international trade and to eliminate discriminatory treatment in international commerce. In an effort to promote international agreements, WTO negotiations are conducted in closed sessions; many outsiders have strongly criticized such meetings as antidemocratic. Unlike GATT, the WTO is a permanent body but not a specialized agency of the United NationsUnited Nations
(UN), international organization established immediately after World War II. It replaced the League of Nations. In 1945, when the UN was founded, there were 51 members; 193 nations are now members of the organization (see table entitled United Nations Members).
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; it has far greater power to mediate trade disputes between member countries and assess penalties. In the Uruguay Round, agreement was reached to reduce tariffs on manufactured goods by one third. Under the WTO, subsidies and quotas are to be reduced on imported farm products, automobiles, and textiles, which were not covered by GATT; there is also freer trade in banking and other services and greater worldwide protection of intellectual property. Negotiations to eliminate subsidies and protections for agricultural products, however, have proved to be a stumbling block. The Doha Round of talks, launched in 2001, have been deadlocked over such subsidies; the round was originally scheduled to be finished in Jan., 2005. The WTO is headquartered in Geneva and also holds international ministerial conferences; it has 162 members.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pranksters Mike Bonanno, left, and Andy Bichlbaum impersonate officials from the World Trade Organization in ``The Yes Men.
Cancun raised serious questions about whether the World Trade Organization, at this point in time, can bring together the shared purpose and commitment to flexibility that is necessary to achieve results.
alone blocked world agreement at another World Trade Organization meeting by demanding the disease list.
The United States should forgive some Soviet-era Russian debt, repeal the outdated Jackson-Vanik amendment, and support Russian accession into the World Trade Organization, in return for greater transparency and market reform within Russia.
Mishra has dealt directly with the World Trade Organization over several years, but stressed that the same set of rules could not be applied to countries at different levels of development.
The group's members saw the establishment of the World Trade Organization and the opening of the insurance markets in China and India as signals that their work was nearing completion, Cronin said.
Their claim to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is that senior levels of government have failed to adequately compensate First Nations after harvesting on their treaty lands, which amounts to an illegal subsidy of softwood lumber products.
Anti-globalization protesters have targeted the World Trade Organization.
Trade regulations can help slow the spread of disease, but the World Trade Organization requires valid scientific evidence before it can impose restrictions.
China is expected to gain admittance to the World Trade Organization, perhaps as early as next year.
Instead, the council came up with a plan to drain the lakes--with the blessing of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Green Party/Nader campaign stands for: dismantling the World Trade Organization (WTO), whose work often abrogates environmental law; controlling sprawl and rebuilding the cities; offering free time for political candidates on radio and TV; providing universal health care coverage for all; and ending "corporate welfare" subsidies and giveaways.

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