Friday, August 28, 2009

WTO, its Structure and Objectives

In 1944 IBRD, IMF and ITO were setup, but practically ITO could not come into being. Accordingly, the 23 countries of the world made an agreement to form GATT with the view of reducing the external tarrif rates. These countries comprised US, UK, India and Pakistan etc. GATT was aimed at liberalizing world trade by removing all trade barriers. But it could not do all what was required to replace this trading institution, it was decided to set up World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994 in a meeting held at Rabat (Morocco).

Structure of WTO:

The WTO’s tap decision making body is the Ministerial Conference, which meets at least once every two years. This body have had its conferences at Montrial (Canada) and Cancun (Mexico) like places, as its 5th conference was held in Cancun from10 to 14 September, 2003. Below this, is the General Council, normally ambassadors and heads of delegation in Geneva represent their countries, some time officials sent from members capital also represent their countries. This council meets several times a year in Geneva where there is read quarter of WTO. The General Council also meets as the Trade Policy Review Body and the Dispute Settlement Body. At the next level, the Goods Council, Services Council and Intellectual Property Council (TRIPS) report to the General Council. Moreover there are numerous specialized committees, working groups and working parties which deal with the individual agreements and other areas like environment, development, membership applications and regional trade agreements. Thus WTO serves as a forum for the member of trade issues. In this way the WTO is engaged in devising a “Multi-lateral Trading System”.

Objectives of WTO:

Following are the main objectives of WTO.

1. To increase the world trade by removing and reducing all the impediments like tarrifs, quotas, VERs and subsidies etc. Liberalization of trade will ensure the smooth, predictable and unrestricted, flow of trade between nations of the world. The free and open trading system will result in providing security to consumers and producers of the world regarding greater supplies and greater choice of the finished goods, components, raw materials and services.

2. The removal of trade barriers following WTO trading system, the other barriers social, political, legal, linguistic, cultural and socio-economic will also be eradicated. It means WTO will pave out the way for Globalization and harmonization amongst people of the world.

3. The WTO is a move towards free trading system. Accordingly, it will lead to better allocation of resources, improvement in factor efficiency and attainment of all the benefits which are associated with trade creation.

Main Areas of Working:

The WTO negotiates different agreements between its members. After having been signed over these agreements, they are ratified by their parliaments. These agreements are the legal ground rules for international commerce. These contracts guarantee member countries regarding different trade rights. They also bind governments to keep their trade policies with in agreed limits to every body’s benefits. Virtually all decisions in the WTO are taken by consensus among all member countries. However trade friction is channelled into the WTO’s dispute settlement process where the focus is on interpreting agreements and commitments.

All agreements of WTO have to be accepted by its members. Up till now the WTO has made 15 to 20 agreements. GATT was mostly concerned with trading of goods. Where as WTO in addition to goods has also made agreements over agricultural services, particularly it has seriously taken up the case of trade related “Intellectual Property Rights” (TRIPs). It has also made agreements on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) and Agreement on Agriculture (AOA). The WTO has also made detail clarification regarding different Articles of GATT on Anti-Dumping, Safe-Guards and copy Rights.

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1 Responses to “WTO, its Structure and Objectives”

lovya sharma said...
December 12, 2011 at 7:33 AM

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