The World Trade Organization (WTO) deals with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible
1)Promotes free-er trade.
2)Raises world out-put levels via specialisation (related to point 1). 3)Establishes a standard rule by law and terms of trade for greater effeciency. 4)Updates all participating countries and banks to international standards and effeciency in terms of trade and commerce.
1)Unequal benefits awarded to DCs and LDCs (reference: unfair terms of trade benefit western nations more than they benefit the african nations when the 2 regions trade)
2)Certain DCs such as parts of Africa get marginalised due to lack of participation in world trade.
3)Gives unfair pollitical leverage to larger economies via hegemony.(reference: America making use of economic sanctions and implicit threats of disengagement as a means to intervene into China's domestic affairs such as human rights and ideological governance)
4)Rules and regulations are often ignored, and the organisation is powerless to act against minor oversight. (reference: American protectionism in their steel industries go against the rules of the WTO, China's trade barriers on agriculture go against the ruels of the WTO, all this occurs while the WTO is unable to prevent it)
5)Decisions of the organisation are dominated by larger economies who have more voting power.(related to points 1 and 3)
Its merits outweight its demerits, yet it is far from perfect, and is more often than not, a means for larger economies to exploit smaller economies in a subtle manner, including empowering larger economies with pollitical leverag to intervene in the domestic affairs of smaller economies. (reference: western exploitation of africa, western hegemony over china) The WTO is NOT for free trade at any cost
It all depends on what countries want to bargain
Yes, one of the principles of the WTO system is for countries to lower their trade barriers and to allow trade to flow more freely. After all, countries benefit from the increased trade that results from lower trade barriers. But just how low those barriers should go is something member countries bargain with each other. Their negotiating positions depend on how ready they feel they are to lower the barriers, and on what they want to obtain from other members in return. One country’s commitments become another country’s rights, and vice versa. The WTO’s role is to provide the forum for negotiating liberalization. It also provides the rules for how liberalization can take place. The rules written into the agreements allow barriers to be lowered gradually so that domestic producers can adjust. They have special provisions that take into account the situations that developing countries face. They also spell out when and how governments can protect their domestic producers, for example from imports that are considered to have unfairly low prices because of subsidies or “dumping”. Here, the objective is fair trade. Just as important as freer trade — perhaps more important — are other principles of the WTO system. For example: non-discrimination, and making sure the conditions for trade are stable, predictable and The WTO does not tell governments how to conduct their trade policies. Rather, it’s a “member-driven” organization. That means:
the rules of the WTO system are agreements resulting from negotiations among member governments, the rules are ratified by members’ parliaments, and
decisions taken in the WTO are virtually all made by consensus among all members. In other words, decisions taken in the WTO are negotiated, accountable and democratic. The only occasion when a WTO body can have a direct impact on a government’s policies is when a dispute is brought to the WTO and if that leads to a ruling by the Dispute Settlement Body (which consists of all members). Normally the...
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