World Trade Organization – Essay Example
International trading would not be the same today without the World Trade Organization, also known as the WTO. Its main function is dealing with rules of trade between various nations. Without the WTO, it is likely that international trade markets would be much more difficult to use and navigate than they currently are.
The World Trade Organization was originally established as GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) in 1947, which was approved by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment. This organization established trade regulations worldwide until it was replaced by the WTO in 1995. The organization is run by different councils, which oversee certain aspects of trade processes, such as goods or negotiations. Large decisions are typically made by the Ministerial Conference, which brings together all members every two years. Any area with full capability to trade independently (nations or smaller independent territories, like Hong Kong) can become a member of the WTO; however, they must meet specific requirements posed by the WTO and it usually takes several years before territories are approved for membership. Nearly all the nations of the world are now members of the WTO, with the exception of some African, Middle-Eastern and Pacific Island nations.
Some functions of the WTO include:
- Establishing regulations. WTO helps make the trade policies, laws, regulations and exceptions unanimous (or at least similar) for many nations. This makes trading between countries much easier.
- Negotiating. WTO helps manage negotiations regarding property, regulations and agreements between trading nations.
- Problem-solving. WTO helps solve disputes between nations regarding property and trade.
Increasing trade. A huge function of WTO is to help manage the production and flow of goods to and from countries, introduce new companies or products, and incorporate other organizations in the WTO’s network.
WTO’s practices are based on concrete ethical and business principles. It will not favor certain members over others and respect government’s needs to restrict, limit or cut off trade to other locations. All decisions are publicly accessible and agreements are binding. WTO’s main concern is increasing liberal trade and making goods and services accessible internationally. The WTO does not determine trade laws for individual countries, nor does it act as a governmental body. It is an international organization concerned with establishing and maintaining trade agreements between different countries. The organization hosts public events, posts educational media and encourages international communication through open, online forums.