World Trade Organisation (WTO) Overview

  • Created by: JordanWr
  • Created on: 30-10-18 15:08
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  • World Trade Organisation (WTO)
    • Structure
      • 164 member countries
      • Ministerial Conference
        • Meets every 2 years
        • Based off consensus - To pass a trade deal all members have to agree
    • Purpose
      • To reduce barriers on trade
        • 1) Checks that members are following trade agreements.
        • 2) Investigates, analyses, and produces reports on global trade and economics.
        • 3) Resolves trade disputes between member states.
    • Six Key Principles
      • Non-Discrimination: All member states should be treated equally.
      • Openness: Free trade (lowering tariffs).
      • Predictable & Transparent: States shouldn't raise trade barriers without warning + a predictable system aids stability.
      • More Competitive: States should not take actions which would put them at an unfair position.
      • More Benefits for Less-Developed Countries: Enable less-developed countries time to become full participants in international trade.
      • Protection of the Environment: The environment must be respected both nationally and internationally.
    • Based in Geneva
    • The EU is a member of the WTO; meaning that countries involved in the EU must act as a unified bloc of states.
    • WTO Rules
      • The WTO has founding rules that have been in action since the original GATT in 1947
        • Every member must agree for a 'round' to be successful.
          • There have been 9 negotiating rounds.
            • 1947 - General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
              • 45,000 tariff removals were agreed.
            • 1962-67 - Kennedy Round
              • Expanded the removal of tariff barriers worth US $40 billion.
            • 1986-94 - Uruguay Round
              • This was the longest successful round of the WTO.
              • 123 countries involved
              • WTO was formally created during this round.
            • 2001-Now - Doha Round
              • Intended to widen free trade with developing countries
                • But talks have been halted over disagreements over further reductions in agricultural subsidies.
    • Criticisms of the WTO
      • Doha Round
        • This round raised criticism because it was perceived that powerful nations (e.g. USA and EU) were blocking less-developed nations in order to preserve the status quo
          • This round was abandoned without agreement in 2015.
          • The Financial Times: 'having failed to save Doha in the WTO, its members must now save the WTO from Doha'
      • This round raised criticism because it was perceived that powerful nations (e.g. USA and EU) were blocking less-developed nations in order to preserve the status quo
        • This round was abandoned without agreement in 2015.
        • The Financial Times: 'having failed to save Doha in the WTO, its members must now save the WTO from Doha'
      • Political power resides within Western powers.
      • Those who have higher representation in Geneva are more powerful in decision making.
      • Workers' rights and environmental protection is disregarded.
      • The WTO is unable to make quick decisions due to infrequent Ministerial Conferences; as well as the need for consensus.

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