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An Assignment on World Trade Organization (WTO); Course Name: Trade Policy in Agriculture; Course No.: ADS 515

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The World Trade Organization (WTO)is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

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The increasing trends towards globalization threw light on the necessity of International Trade Organization who promotes multilateral trade with elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers a mong different nations of the world. The WTO came into being on January 1, 1995 and is the successor to the General Ag reement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which was created in 1947. In this paper describes WTO functions, the present issues and challenges faced by under developed countries. The WTO's headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

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The agreement on agriculture (AOA) forms a part of the final act of the Uruguay round of multilateral trade negotiation, which was signed by the member's countries in April 1994 at Marrakesh, Morocco and came into force on 1st January 1995.for the first time, agriculture features in a major way in the GATT round of multilateral trade negotiations. Although the original GATT-the predecessor of the World Trade organization (WTO) applied to trade in agriculture, various expectations to the disciplines on the use of non-tariff measures and subsidy meant that it did not do so effectively. The Uruguay round agreement sought to bring order and fair competition to this highly distorted sector of world trade by establishment of a fair and market oriented agriculture trading sector. Therefore the formation of the world trade organi zation (WTO) in January 1, 1995 as a successor organization for the General Agreement of Tariff and Trade (GATT) was water shed event in the history of global trade reform.

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In order to ensure smooth trading relations internationally and maximize global trade after Second World War, an international institution in the form of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was setup. Its objective was to work for reducing tariff on international trade in goods and provide a forum for negotiation on trade disputes and trade related issues among nations. The GATT mandated for trade in goods. The WTO, which replaced GATT in 1995 mandated for trade in goods as well as services and issues affecting international trade. Hence, WTO has considerably greater influence on trade among nations. The present chapter discusses various provisions of WTO and its implications and influence on agricultural sector in India. 4.2 The World Trade Organization The WTO is a multilateral framework (an agreement among governments) for conduct of international trade in goods and services and also for protection of intellectual property rights, i.e., patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc and for discussion of trade related issues. The WTO has a set of multilateral agreements primarily on the rights and obligations (of governments) that prescribes for governments in formulation of rules, procedures and practices related to international trade. The WTO, which was established in 1995, replaced the GATT with a much broader mandated. The GATT existed since 1947. The US and the UK were the main architects, though there were 23 members in the beginning of which 12 were those that are now called the developing countries. The GATT was essentially a framework for reduction of tariffs (customs duty) until 1979 (end of Tokyo Round of negotiation), when certain disciplines were elaborated in the non-tariff areas, like subsidy given by governments, dumping by firms, licensing in case of import control, valuation of customs duty at the time of import of a product, etc. As a result of the Uruguay Round of negotiations (1986-94), the WTO was created in the beginning of 1995 and the GATT was made a part of it. WTO members are

Parakrama Samaratunga

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World Trade Organization was created at the Uruguay round of talks in 1994. GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) transformed into a permanent institution. The Uruguay Round negotiations started in Uruguay in 1986. The aim of this round was to promote free trade. The WTO is responsible for trade negotiations, trade disputes and handling national trade policies. WTO agreements are endowed with technical assistance to developing countries and also cooperate with other international bodies on trade related issues. The presumption is that, all members have an equal voice in the decision making process. With the increase of free trade it is crucial that World Trade Organization servers to speed up world economic activity. This cannot be done without referring to the social, cultural, economic consequences, particularly with regard to vulnerable groups. Dumping is a practice of selling goods in another country at a considerably lower price. Anti-Dumping measures are deliberate and prevent a company from selling goods lesser than the cost to force the contender out of business. Anti-dumping rules cause economic mischief by shrinking markets and excluding efficient producers, there by hoist prices for consumers.


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Essay on World Trade Organization (WTO)

conclusion of wto assignment

Read this essay to learn about World Trade Organization (WTO). After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Introduction to World Trade Organization for International Business 2. Reasons to Join WTO for International Business 3. Functions 4. Decision Making 5. Organizational Structure 6. Principles of the Multilateral Trading System 7. The Deadlock 8. Ministerial Conferences and Other Details.

Essay on World Trade Organization Contents:

  • Essay on GATT/WTO System and Developing Countries

Essay # 1. Introduction to World Trade Organization for International Business:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization that deals with global rules of trade between nations. It provides a framework for conduct of international trade in goods and services. It lays down the rights and obligations of governments in the set of multilateral agreements.

In addition to goods and services, it also covers a wide range of issues related to international trade, such as protection of intellectual property rights and dispute settlement, and prescribes disciplines for governments in formulation of rules, procedures, and practices in these areas. Moreover, it also imposes discipline at the firm level in certain areas, such as export pricing at unusually low prices.


The basic objective of the rule-based system of international trade under the WTO is to ensure that international markets remain open and their access is not disrupted by the sudden and arbitrary imposition of import restrictions.

Under the Uruguay Round, the national governments of all the member countries have negotiated improved access to the markets of the member countries so as to enable business enterprises to convert trade concessions into new business opportunities.

The emerging legal systems not only confer benefits on manufacturing industries and business enterprises but also create rights in their favour. The WTO also covers areas of interest to international business firms, such as customs valuation, pre-shipment inspection services, and import licensing procedures, wherein the emphasis has been laid on transparency of the procedures so as to restrain their use as non-tariff barriers.

The agreements also stipulate rights of exporters and domestic procedures to initiate actions against dumping of foreign goods. An international business manager needs to develop a thorough understanding of the new opportunities and challenges of the multilateral trading system under the WTO.

The WTO came into existence on 1 January 1995 as a successor to the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Its genesis goes back to the post-Second- World-War period in the late 1940s when economies of most European countries and the US were greatly disrupted following the war and the great depression of the 1930s.

Consequently a United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment was convened at Havana in November 1947.

It led to an international agreement called Havana Charter to create an International Trade Organization (ITO), a specialized agency of the United Nations to handle the trade side of international economic cooperation.

The draft ITO charter was ambitious and extended beyond world trade discipline to rules on employment, commodity agreements, restrictive business practices, international investment, and services. However, the attempt to create the ITO was aborted as the US did not ratify it and other countries found it difficult to make it operational without US support.

The combined package of trade rules and tariff concessions negotiated and agreed by 23 countries out of 50 participating countries became known as General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): an effort to salvage from the aborted attempt to create the ITO.

India was also a founder member of GATT, a multilateral treaty aimed at trade liberalization. GATT provided a multilateral forum during 1948-94 to discuss the trade problems and reduction of trade barriers.

World Trade Organization membership increased from 23 countries in 1947 to 123 countries by 1994. GATT remained a provisional agreement and organization throughout these 47 years and facilitated considerably, tariff reduction. During its existence from 1948 to 1994, average tariffs on manufactured goods in developed countries declined from about 40 per cent to a mere 4 per cent.

It was only during the Kennedy round of negotiations in 1964-67, that an anti-dumping agreement and a section of development under the GATT were introduced. The first major attempt to tackle non-tariff barriers was made during the Tokyo round. The eighth round of negotiations known as the Uruguay Round of 1986-94 was the most comprehensive of all and led to the creation of the WTO with a new set up of agreements.

Essay # 2. Reasons to Join WTO for International Business:

Despite the disciplinary framework for conduct of international trade under the WTO, countries across the world including the developing countries were in a rush to join the pack. The WTO has nearly 153 members, accounting for over 97 per cent of world trade. Presently, 34 governments hold observer status, out of which 31 are actively seeking accession, including large trading nations, such as Russia and Taiwan.

The major reasons for a country to join the WTO are :

i. Since each country needs to export its goods and services to receive foreign exchange for essential imports, such as capital goods, technology, fuel, and sometimes even food, it requires access to foreign markets. But countries require permission for making their goods and services enter foreign countries.

Thus countries need to have bilateral agreements with each other. By joining a multilateral framework like the WTO, the need to have individual bilateral agreements is obviated as the member countries are allowed to export and import goods and services among themselves.

ii. An individual country is unlikely to get a better deal in bilateral agreements than what it gets in a multilateral framework. It has been observed that developing countries had to commit to a greater degree to developed countries in bilateral agreements than what is required under the WTO.

iii. A country can learn from the experiences of other countries, being part of the community of countries and influence the decision-making process in the WTO.

iv. The WTO provides some protection against subjective actions of other countries by way of its dispute settlement system that works as an in-built mechanism for enforcement of rights and obligations of member countries.

v. It would be odd to remain out of WTO framework for conducting international trade that has been in existence for about six decades and accounts for over 97 per cent of world trade. It may even be viewed as suspicious by others.

Essay # 3. Functions of WTO:

The major function of the WTO is to ensure the flow of international trade as smoothly, predictably, and freely as possible. This is a multilateral trade organization aimed at evolving a liberalized trade regime under a rule-based system.

The basic functions of WTO are:

i. To facilitate the implementation, administration, and operation of trade agreements.

ii. To provide a forum for further negotiations among member countries on matters covered by the agreements as well as on new issues falling within its mandate.

iii. Settlement of differences and disputes among its member countries.

iv. To carry out periodic reviews of the trade policies of its member countries.

v. To assist developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programmes.

vi. To cooperate with other international organizations.

Essay # 4. Decision Making of WTO :

WTO is a member-driven consensus-based organization. All major decisions in the WTO are made by its members as a whole, either by ministers who meet at least once every two years or by their ambassadors who meet regularly in Geneva.

A majority vote is also possible but it has never been used in the WTO and was extremely rare in the WTO’s predecessor, GATT. The WTO’s agreements have been ratified in all members’ parliaments. Unlike other international organizations, such as the World Bank and the IMF, in WTO, the power is not delegated to the board of directors or the organization’s head.

In view of the complexities involved in multilateral negotiations among 150 member countries with diverse resource capabilities, areas of special interest, and geo-political powers, decision-making through consensus is highly challenging.

Developed countries with much greater economic and political strengths often employ pressure tactics over developing and least developed countries in building up a consensus. This has led to considerable networking among the member countries and evolving of several country groups as shown in Exhibit 5.2.

conclusion of wto assignment

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More than ten years into the Doha “Development” Round, WTO members are all but resigned to the fact that the broad overhaul of the WTO system envisioned in the Doha Work Programme will likely not come to fruition. The Doha Round also reveals major transformations in the place and role played by many developing countries in the multilateral trading system both politically and economically. The continuity of developing country concerns, in the face of major transformations in the dynamics of international trade, raises several fundamental questions: Are the issues really still the same, have the stakeholders failed to updated their positions in light of the more recent developments, or is the WTO as an institution impeding a forward-looking debate? The answer is likely a mix of all three aspects.

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WTO Conclusions

Table of contents, introduction.

When people talk about the WTO they often mean one of three different things:

  • The WTO as institution. So this refers to the way the WTO is structured - its voting process, dispute settlement procedures etc.
  • The philosophy the WTO promulgates and stands for: promotion of trade and free trade in particular and thus for globalization of a kind (though this kind of question requires a much more detailed answer see elsewhere on this site in particular Criticisms of the WTO page )
  • The Multilateral Trade Agreements: GATT, GATS, TRIPS etc, that are agreed to by members of WTO

Of course there is overlap between these three areas but they do provide a very useful division and I will structure my conclusions around it.

The WTO as Institution

The WTO is democratically and fairly structured and provides a good framework for the regulation of international trade. That said there are many imbalances of power and resources between different members within WTO (e.g. very crudely: the US has 500 negotiators, Burkina Faso has 1). However this is a reflection of an imbalance between countries in the world in general and does not derive from any bias of the WTO. Moreover there is substantial evidence that WTO ‘rules-based’ system does lead to a more transparent situation that protects weaker countries from being exploited by the stronger. This is not to say that there is not more to be done in making the informal workings of the WTO (e.g. the green-room system) are conducted more transparently and with greater fairness. However the informal nature of these areas not only make this difficult but suggest this may relate more to power imbalances external to the WTO. Nevertheless one major recommendation is that all WTO documents be automatically derestricted immediately with only special exceptions.In conclusion I quote the following from the Select Committee on International Development’s report (Exec Summary 2.iv): ‘The WTO as a rule-based system is the best and fairest process for trade liberalisation, ensuring the voices of developing countries are heard.’ (More discussion of this whole issue can be found on the Criticism of WTO Practices and Structures page )

The WTO’s Philosophy

The WTO’s core philosophy centres on promoting free and equal trade through trade liberalazition. As the extensive sections on this issue elsewhere on the website make clear this is a complicated area but one in which the consensus of informed economic opinion is that free trade is beneficial to economic growth (conceived in its widest terms). It should be emphasized that growth without pro-poor policies may not lead to many benefits for the poor but this is a domestic issue for the countries concered and is something about which the WTO can do little directly (nevertheless it is an issue that concerns the WTO).

The WTO’s Multilateral Agreements

As a reader of the Introduction on the Multilateral Agreements page will know, one’s perspective on this issue is greatly determined by how one regards the WTO’s philosophy. Essentially the evaluation boils down to setting the Economic Benefits to be derived from promoting trade and some kinds of liberalization against the losses suffered from the concominant diminution of sovereignty (in that the country is now constrained in terms of policies it can pursue and laws it can have by the Agreements). It is my opinion that in general there is a net benefit. This is not to say that there do not exist many areas in which there could be improvement. One very obvious one is trade issues relating to the environment. Another is clarification of the scope of GATS. Another is more active attention to the needs of developing countries. Another, and perhaps the most important, is the reduction of protectionism by the developed countries (particulary the US, EU and Japan) in the areas of agricultue and textiles. However as has been emphasized so often, the flaws that exist are a reflection less of problems with the WTO as of the behaviour of the members that make it up, particularly the most powerful - the EU bloc, the US, Japan etc 1 . In a world where the most developed countries are not willing to contribute the minimal 0.7% of GDP on official development assistance mandated at Rio in 1992. 2 it is not surprising that the WTO does not see more altruistic behaviour by its richer members. Despite the failures nevertheless the WTO has seen some significant progress on these issues and more importantly provides the best hope of seeing further improvements.

Last Updated: 2003-03-24 Created: 2002-09-27 IP Policy

For example the slow progress on removing major protectionist barriers in the realm of agriculture is due to strong and sustained opposition from the US, Japan and especially the EU. This itself is due to the strong political clout of farming lobbies in the developed countries (consider e.g. France). ↩︎

Rio 1992 Agenda 21 among other things put forward a target of 0.7% of GDP for ODA (Official Development Assistance) for rich countries (e.g. OECD). Almost all rich countries (with the exception of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) have failed to meet that target, often woefully so (e.g. US = 0.11% in 2001). See [oecd_2000] and [oecd_2001] on the documents page. ↩︎

Assignment on World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization ( WTO ) is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948. The organization deals with regulation of trade between participating countries; it provides a framework for negotiating and formalizing trade agreements, and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations, especially from the Uruguay Round (1986–1994).

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Dispute settlement


Introduction to dispute settlement in the WTO

  • How does the WTO settle disputes? Basic introduction
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Dispute settlement process

  • The Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) is the main WTO agreement on settling disputes.
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Dispute Settlement Body

The General Council convenes as the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to deal with disputes between WTO members.

The Appellate Body

Appeals are handled by the permanent seven-member Appellate Body which is set up by the Dispute Settlement Body and broadly represents the range of WTO membership.

Dispute settlement activity — some figures

As of end-2022, WTO members had submitted 615 requests for consultations, the first stage in the dispute settlement process.

Requests for consultations (1995 —2022)

conclusion of wto assignment

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Interpretation of WTO agreements

The WTO Analytical Index is a comprehensive guide to the interpretation and application of the WTO agreements by the Appellate Body, dispute settlement panels and other WTO bodies. It contains extracts of key pronouncements and findings from tens of thousands of pages of WTO jurisprudence, including panel reports, Appellate Body reports, arbitral decisions and awards, and decisions of WTO committees, councils and other WTO bodies.

The WTO Appellate Body Repertory of Reports and Awards covers the Appellate Body's rulings in WTO disputes since its establishment in 1995.

Negotiations to improve dispute settlement procedures

At the Doha Ministerial Conference, in 2001, WTO members agreed to negotiate to improve and clarify the DSU — the rules and procedures governing the settlement of WTO disputes.

Secretariat's informal consultations concerning the panel process

At the request of the Director-General, the Secretariat initiated in 2010 a process of informal consultations with a view to exploring whether it is possible to find efficiency gains in the panel process.

Upcoming open hearings

  • 25  Oct DS577: United States — Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties on Ripe Olives from Spain — Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the European Union (Registration closes 10/10/2023 ) 

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  • GATT Disputes: 1948-1995 (Volumes 1 and 2)
  • A Handbook on the WTO Dispute Settlement System: Second Edition
  • WTO Dispute Settlement : One-Page Case Summaries (2019 edition)
  • WTO Dispute Settlement: Resolving trade disputes between WTO members
  • The WTO Dispute Settlement Procedures — Third Edition
  • Analytical Index Find jurisprudence by Agreement, Article or index term
  • Appellate Body Repertory of Reports and Awards 1995-2013
  • Buy the book: Dispute Settlement Reports from Cambridge University Press (co-publisher). This is the only WTO-authorized paginated version.

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    Download. The WTO, or World Trade Organization, is responsible for managing trade between nations throughout the world. It is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and currently boasts 153 member nations. The WTO is currently lead by Pascal Lamy, a French political advisor who was appointed in 2005 for a four-year term.

  21. WTO

    A dispute arises when a member government believes another member government is violating an agreement or a commitment that it has made in the WTO. The WTO has one of the most active international dispute settlement mechanisms in the world. Since 1995, 621 disputes have been brought to the WTO and over 350 rulings have been issued.

  22. 10 Tips for Perfect Assignment Conclusion

    Conclusion should not be longer than 10% from the word count. If a paper has 900 words, conclude it in 90. If there are 3000 words, then compose about 300. This will create great harmony, preventing your readers from feeling bored or overloaded. Present summary but don't copy previous sentences.