The World Trade Organization (WTO) decisions


WTO strucrure: The WTO has 153 members , accounting for over 97% of world trade. Around 30 others are negotiating membership. Decesion are made by the entire membership . this is typically by consensus . a majority vote is also possible but it has never been used in the WTO , and was extremely rare under the WTOs predecessor the genaral agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT). The WTO top level decesion making body is the ministirial conferance which meets at least once every two years.

The role of WTO in international business:

Facilating the implementation , administration and operation and furthering the objectives of the agreements establishing it and other multilateral trade agreement and providing . the framework for the implementation administration and operation of the plurality trade agrements .

Providing the forum for regulation its members concering their multilata eral trade relation in matters deal with under the agreements in the annexes to the agreements setting it up and for the results of such negotiations as may be decided by the ministarial conference.

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Ref: ( article III of the agreement establishing WTO )

Administrating the understanding on rules and procedures governing the settlement of disputes settelments understanding which is annex to the agreements setting it up.

Administrating the policy tevew machanism in annex three of the agreement setting it up and

Cooperating as approprite with the international monetery fund and the international bank for reconstraction and development with a view to acheving greater cohearance in global economic policy making. This is aimed at building better understanding and coordination between a trade organization like WTO and monatery institution like IMF and WORLD BANK that these are two financial institution without good reputation with developing countries and that are seen by them to have been recommending economic reforms and structarul adjustment programs that destry rather than rebuild this economics.

The ultimate goal of the multilateral institution of GAAT and WTO is the provision of free global trade and economic relationship among members and that GATT is designed to achieve free trade and to improve access by the having all protection take the form of tariffs, holding multilateral negotiation at which these tariffs are lowered and bound,ensuring that these agreements are impleted by reguiring that any increase ina bound tariffs must be compensated by the reduction of another,providing a mrchanisim by which signatory can settele disputes

Ref: DR Ademola O,popola, Head Department of international law , Faculty of law , Obafemi Awolowo University.

The sucess of WTO in its role of increasing world trade in measurd in accordance with the volume and growth trade and although this went up by 25% in the last 8 years. The benifits of that increase are not equitably shared among members state. For instance, the least developed countries represents 20% of the world population but they genarate only 0.03% of the world trade flows.

Every issue has some positive and negative side and WTO also,,, WTO has some positive and some negative side like:

The system helps to keep the peace

Peace is partly an outcome of two of the most fundamental principles of the trading system: helping trade to flow smoothly, and providing countries with a constructive and fair outlet for dealing with disputes over trade issues. It is also an outcome of the international confidence and cooperation that the system creates and reinforces. History is littered with examples of trade disputes turning into war. One of the most vivid is the trade war of the 1930s when countries competed to raise trade barriers in order to protect domestic producers and retaliate against each others' barriers. offensively put, sales people are usuallyreluctant to fight their customers.In other words, if trade flowssmoothly and both sides enjoy ahealthy commercial relationship,political conflict is less likely. smoothly-flowing trade

also helps people all over the world become better off. The GATT/WTO system is an important confidencebuilder.The longer termreality is that one protectionist step by one country can easily lead toretaliation from other countries, a lossof confidence in freer trade, and a slide into serious economic trouble for all-including the sectors that were originally protected. Everyone loses. Confidence is the key to avoiding that kind of no-win scenario. When governments are confident that others will not raise their trade barriers, they

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will not be tempted to do the same. They will also be in a much better frame of mind to cooperate with each other. The WTO trading system plays a vital

role in creating and reinforcing that confidence. Particularly important are negotiations that lead to agreement by consensus, and a focus on abiding

by the rules.

The system allows disputes to be handled


As trade expands in volume, in the numbers of products traded, and in the numbers of countries and companies trading, there is a greater chance that disputes will arise. The WTO system helps resolve these disputes peacefully and constructively. There could be a down side to trade liberalization and expansion. More trade means more opportunities for disputes to arise. Left to themselves, those disputes could lead to serious conflict. But in reality, a lot of international trade tension is reduced because countries can turn to

organizations, in particular the WTO, to settle their trade disputes.

A system based on rules rather than power

makes life easier for all

The WTO cannot claim to make all countries equal. But it does reduce some inequalities, giving smaller countries more voice, and at the same time freeing the major powers from the complexity of having to negotiate trade agreements with each of their numerous trading partners. Decisions in the WTO are made by consensus. The WTO agreements were negotiated by all members, were approved by consensus and were ratified in all members' parliaments. The agreements apply to everyone. Rich and poor countries alike have an equal right to challenge each other in the WTO's dispute settlement procedures. Smaller countries can enjoy some increased bargaining power. Without a multilateral regime such as the WTO's system, the more powerful countries would be freer to impose their will unilaterally on their smaller trading partners. Smaller countries would have to deal with each of the major economic powers individually, and would be much less able to resist unwanted pressure. The principle of non-discrimination built into the WTO agreements avoids

that complexity. The fact that there is a single set of rules applying to all members greatly simplifies the entire

trade regime. And these agreed rules give governments a clearer view of which trade policies are acceptable