22 Facts About WTO


However, critics contend that the benefits of WTO-facilitated free trade are not shared equally, citing the outcomes of negotiations and data showing a continually widening gap between rich and poor nations.

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Only four remained plurilateral, but in 1997 WTO members agreed to terminate the bovine meat and dairy agreements, leaving only two.

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The Final Act concluding the Uruguay Round and officially establishing the WTO regime was signed 15 April 1994, during the ministerial meeting at Marrakesh, Morocco, and hence is known as the Marrakesh Agreement.

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The fourth ministerial conference in Doha in 2001 approved China's entry to the WTO and launched the Doha Development Round which was supplemented by the sixth WTO ministerial conference which agreed to phase out agricultural export subsidies and to adopt the European Union's Everything but Arms initiative to phase out tariffs for goods from the least developed countries.

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WTO launched the current round of negotiations, the Doha Development Round, at the fourth ministerial conference in Doha, Qatar in November 2001.

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WTO could be referred to as the product of globalization and as one of the most important organizations in today's globalized society.

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WTO is a center of economic research and analysis: regular assessments of the global trade picture in its annual publications and research reports on specific topics are produced by the organization.

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Finally, the WTO cooperates closely with the two other components of the Bretton Woods system, the IMF and the World Bank.

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WTO establishes a framework for trade policies; it does not define or specify outcomes.

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Highest authority of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which must meet at least every two years.

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WTO describes itself as "a rules-based, member-driven organization—all decisions are made by the member governments, and the rules are the outcome of negotiations among members".

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The WTO Agreement foresees votes where consensus cannot be reached, but the practice of consensus dominates the process of decision-making.

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In 1994, the WTO members agreed on the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes annexed to the "Final Act" signed in Marrakesh in 1994.

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WTO members have agreed that, if they believe fellow-members are violating trade rules, they will use the multilateral system of settling disputes instead of taking action unilaterally.

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Process of becoming a WTO member is unique to each applicant country, and the terms of accession are dependent upon the country's stage of economic development and the current trade regime.

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Country wishing to accede to the WTO submits an application to the General Council, and has to describe all aspects of its trade and economic policies that have a bearing on WTO agreements.

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For instance, as a result of joining the WTO, Armenia offered a 15 per cent ceiling bound tariff rate on accessing its market for goods.

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WTO members do not have to be fully independent states; they need only be a customs territory with full autonomy in the conduct of their external commercial relations.

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WTO oversees about 60 different agreements which have the status of international legal texts.

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Procedures for the appointment of the WTO director-general were updated in January 2003, and include quadrennial terms.

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WTO members made history on 15 February 2021 when the General Council agreed by consensus to select Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of Nigeria as the organization's seventh Director-General.

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WTO derives most of the income for its annual budget from contributions by its Members.

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