According to the WTO agreements, one of the most important reasons for having the system is that it’s a forum for countries to thrash out their differences on trade issues. In the agreement lie many over-riding reasons why it’s better off with the system in place. These are the ten distinct advantages according to the WTO; the system helps promote peace, disputes are handled constructively, rules make life easier for all, freer trade cuts the costs of living, it provides more choice of products and qualities, Trade raises incomes, Trade stimulates economic growth, and the basic principles make life more efficient, Governments are shielded from lobbying and the system encourages good government. (http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/doload_e/10b_e.pdf)
With a system as the WTO agreements that are so complex, it is expected that there are many critics. Some consider the effects that occur from decisions made out of these agreements as deliberate attacks on those Member countries that are not considered as “most favoured nations” or MFN (developing countries). The WTO addresses these concerns and view these criticisms as fundamental misunderstandings of the ways they work. The WTO is a forum through which countries can thrash out their differences on trade issues - individuals can through their governments, participate in these discussions or debates but must do so based on proper understanding of the workings of the system. These include; The WTO dictates policy; The WTO is for free trade at any cost; commercial interests take priority over development and over the environment and over health and safety; The WTO destroys jobs, worsens poverty, small countries are powerless in the WTO; The WTO is the tool of powerful lobbies; weaker countries are forced to join the WTO and The WTO is undemocratic. (http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/doload_e/10b_e.pdf) [continues]
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