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 164 members.
References in periodicals archive ?
"By the end of 2018, over 80 per cent of WTO members had ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement, which is projected to slash trade costs by 14 per cent once fully implemented, and many have already seen the benefits of a faster flow of goods across borders."
WTO member countries account for 92.5% of the total trade turnover of Kyrgyzstan: exports 89.8%, imports - 93.3%.
They therefore remain a second-best option compared to the multilateral rules which apply to all WTO members. However, certain aspects of RTAs, notably the rules, tend to be non-discriminatory and therefore can be beneficial even for non-RTA parties.
The participation of 43 WTO members in the question and answer process was a record number for Malaysia, from the first TPR in 1993.
The country had the support of over a 100 WTO member countries on all agriculture issues including proposal to set the direction of agriculture reforms by first eliminating the most trade-distorting form of subsidies used mainly by the rich developed countries.
The TFA formed part of the Bali Package adopted by the WTO members at the 9th ministerial conference held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013.
The Secretariat employs over 600 staff, and its experts (lawyers, economists, statisticians and communications experts) assist WTO members on a daily basis to ensure, among other things, that negotiations progress smoothly, and that the rules of international trade are correctly applied and enforced.
The MFN provision, found in Article I of GATT, applies on its face not only to tariff concessions, but also to regulatory measures adopted by the WTO members, whether unilaterally or through bilateral or regional regulatory cooperation.
Kazakhstan finalized the negotiations of its World Trade Organization membership terms with WTO members at the Working Party meeting on Kazakhstan's accession on 10 June, the press service of the WTO announced.
India recently notified the WTO of a much lower increase but the study showed that the Indian government used faulty tactics to calculate the number it reported, a number that many other WTO members have questioned, it alleged.
trade policies (link), many WTO members cited the new farm law as the most worrisome change in terms of its effect on WTO trading partners.