The final phase of accession involves bilateral negotiations between the applicant nation and other working party members regarding the concessions and commitments on
tariff levels and market access for goods and services.
 It was the biggest negotiating mandate on trade ever agreed: the talks aimed to extend the trading system into several new areas, notably trade in services and intellectual
property, and to reform trade in the sensitive sectors of agriculture and textiles; all the original GATT articles were up for review.
Other important functions include: • It oversees the implementation, administration and operation of the covered agreements (with the exception is that it does not enforce
any agreements when China came into the WTO in Dec 2001) • It provides a forum for negotiations and for settling disputes.
 Decision-making The 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”.
 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
The agreements fall into six main parts: • the Agreement Establishing the WTO • the Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods • the General Agreement on Trade in Services
• the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights • dispute settlement • reviews of governments’ trade policies In terms of the WTO’s principle relating to tariff “ceiling-binding” (No.
The MFN rule requires that a WTO member must apply the same conditions on all trade with other WTO members, i.e., a WTO member has to grant the most favorable conditions under
which it allows trade in a certain product type to all other WTO members.
 Some countries may have faced tougher and a much longer accession process due to challenges during negotiations with other WTO members, such as Vietnam, whose negotiations
took more than 11 years before it became an official member in January 2007.
 Accession and membership The 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.
) Despite attempts in the mid-1950s and 1960s to establish some form of institutional mechanism for international trade, the GATT continued to operate for almost half
a century as a semi-institutionalized multilateral treaty régime on a provisional basis.
The Tokyo Round during the seventies represented the first major attempt to tackle trade barriers that do not take the form of tariffs, and to improve the system, adopting
a series of agreements on non-tariff barriers, which in some cases interpreted existing GATT rules, and in others broke entirely new ground.
; Staff: 640 History The WTO precursor General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), was established by a multilateral treaty of 23 countries in 1947 after World War
II in the wake of other new multilateral institutions dedicated to international economic cooperation—such as the World Bank (founded 1944) and the International Monetary Fund (founded 1944 or 1945).
 There are committees on the following: Trade and Environment; Trade and Development (Subcommittee on Least-Developed Countries); Regional Trade Agreements; Balance of
Payments Restrictions; and Budget, Finance and Administration.
 After all necessary background information has been acquired, the working party focuses on issues of discrepancy between the WTO rules and the applicant’s international
and domestic trade policies and laws.
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 (in Hong Kong) 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.
At the sixth WTO Ministerial Conference of 2005 in December, WTO launched the Aid for Trade initiative and it is specifically to assist developing countries in trade as included
in the Sustainable Development Goal 8 which is to increase aid for trade support and economic growth.
 The WTO facilitates trade in goods, services and intellectual property among participating countries by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements,
which usually aim to reduce or eliminate tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions; these agreements are signed by representatives of member governments: fol.9–10 and ratified by their legislatures.
The WTO members are required to publish their trade regulations, to maintain institutions allowing for the review of administrative decisions affecting trade, to respond to
requests for information by other members, and to notify changes in trade policies to the WTO.
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.
When Qatar requested the establishment of a dispute panel concerning measures imposed by the UAE, other GCC countries and the US were quick to dismiss its request as a political
matter, stating that national security issues were political and not appropriate for the WTO dispute system.
 Another priority of the WTO is the assistance of developing, least-developed and low-income countries in transition to adjust to WTO rules and disciplines through
technical cooperation and training.
The Agreement on Agriculture came into effect with the establishment of the WTO at the beginning of 1995.
 As of July 2012 there were various negotiation groups in the WTO system for the current stalemated agricultural trade negotiation.
The new member’s commitments are to apply equally to all WTO members under normal non-discrimination rules, even though they are negotiated bilaterally.
The General Agreement on Trade in Services was created to extend the multilateral trading system to service sector, in the same way as the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade (GATT) provided such a system for merchandise trade.
 With effective cooperation in the United Nations System, governments use the organization to establish, revise, and enforce the rules that govern international trade.
The tariff commitments made by WTO members in multilateral trade negotiation and on accession are enumerated in a legal instrument known as a schedule (list) of concessions.
 The initial agenda comprised both further trade liberalization and new rule-making, underpinned by commitments to strengthen substantial assistance to developing countries.
“ Accession process A 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.
 • The General Council • The Dispute Settlement Body • The Trade Policy Review Body The General Council, whose Chair as of 2020 is David Walker of New Zealand, has
the following subsidiary bodies which oversee committees in different areas: Council for Trade in Goods There are 11 committees under the jurisdiction of the Goods Council each with a specific task.
: fol.93 Organizational structure The highest authority of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which must meet at least every two years.
As a result, there have been an increasing number of bilateral free trade agreements between governments.
The working party determines the terms and conditions of entry into the WTO for the applicant nation and may consider transitional periods to allow countries some leeway in
complying with the WTO rules.
The WTO shall provide the forum for negotiations among its members concerning their multilateral trade relations in matters dealt with under the Agreement in the Annexes to
 A 2016 study in International Studies Quarterly challenges that the WTO dispute settlement system leads to greater increases in trade.
 Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Information on intellectual property in the WTO, news and official records of the activities of the
TRIPS Council, and details of the WTO’s work with other international organizations in the field.
 Richard Harold Steinberg (2002) argues that although the WTO’s consensus governance model provides law-based initial bargaining, trading rounds close through power-based
bargaining favoring Europe and the U.S., and may not lead to Pareto improvement.
 It has also influenced trade agreement generally; a 2017 analysis found that the vast majority of preferential trade agreements (PTAs) up to that point
explicitly reference the WTO, with substantial portions of text copied from WTO agreements.
The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade is an international treaty of the World Trade Organization.
There are working groups on the following: Trade, debt and finance; and Trade and technology transfer.
 Exceptions to the MFN principle also allow for preferential treatment of developing countries, regional free trade areas and customs unions.
 Progress stalled over differences between developed nations and the major developing countries on issues such as industrial tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade
particularly against and between the EU and the US over their maintenance of agricultural subsidies—seen to operate effectively as trade barriers.
 Additionally, it is WTO’s duty to review and propagate the national trade policies and to ensure the coherence and transparency of trade policies through surveillance
in global economic policy-making.
 There are three types of provision in this direction: 1. articles allowing for the use of trade measures to attain non-economic objectives; 2. articles aimed at ensuring
“fair competition”; members must not use environmental protection measures as a means of disguising protectionist policies.
A comparable international institution for trade, named the International Trade Organization never started as the U.S. and other signatories did not ratify the establishment
treaty, and so GATT slowly became a de facto international organization.
3), the Uruguay Round has been successful in increasing binding commitments by both developed and developing countries, as may be seen in the percentages of tariffs bound
before and after the 1986–1994 talks.
WTO could be referred to as the product of globalization and also as one of the most important organizations in today’s globalized society.
 Ministerial conferences The World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1998, in the Palace of Nations (Geneva, Switzerland) The highest decision-making
body of the WTO, the Ministerial Conference, usually meets every two years.
 When the bilateral talks conclude, the working party sends to the general council or ministerial conference an accession package, which includes a summary of all the
working party meetings, the Protocol of Accession (a draft membership treaty), and lists (“schedules”) of the member to be commitments.
 The WTO also administers independent dispute resolution for enforcing participants’ adherence to trade agreements and resolving trade-related disputes.
That is, it is concerned with setting the rules of “trade policy.”
 The “findings challenge the view that states first liberalize trade to join the GATT/WTO.
 In response to the problems identified in the 1982 Ministerial Declaration (structural deficiencies, spill-over impacts of certain countries’ policies on world trade
GATT could not manage, etc.
It was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and entered into force with the establishment of the WTO at the end of 1994.
Agreements The WTO oversees about 60 different agreements which have the status of international legal texts.
These internal transparency requirements are supplemented and facilitated by periodic country-specific reports (trade policy reviews) through the Trade Policy Review Mechanism
 In 1994, the WTO members agreed on the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU) annexed to the “Final Act” signed in Marrakesh
 The WTO Agreement foresees votes where consensus cannot be reached, but the practice of consensus dominates the process of decision-making.
 According to a 2018 study in the Journal of Politics, states are less likely and slower to enforce WTO violations when the violations affect states in a diffuse manner.
 Formation: 1 January 1995; 28 years ago; Type: Intergovernmental organization; Purpose: Reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade; Headquarters: Centre William
Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland; Coordinates: 46°13′27″N 06°08′58″E; Region served: Worldwide; Membership: 164 members (160 UN member states, the European Union, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan); Official: English, French, Spanish; Director-General:
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Budget: 197.2 million Swiss francs (approx.
If satisfaction is not obtained, the complaining country may invoke the WTO dispute settlement procedures.
 In addition to states, the European Union, and each EU country in its own right, is a member.
Instead, democracy and foreign policy similarity encourage states to join.
 However, critics contend that the benefits of WTO-facilitated free trade are not shared equally.
(The Uruguay Round amended several of these codes and turned them into multilateral commitments accepted by all WTO members.
 The above five listings are the additional functions of the World Trade Organization.
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