The World Trade Organization

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World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business. The World Trade Organization came into being in 1995. One of the youngest of the international organizations, the WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established in the wake of the Second World War. The World Trade Organization exists to ensure that trade between nations flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. It provides and regulates the legal issues which governs world trade now .

The legal documents of the WTO explore this idea and the individual obligations of member countries. Consumers and producers know that they can enjoy safe supplies and greater choice of the finished products, components, raw materials and services that they use. Producers and exporters know that foreign markets will remain open to them. The result is also a more prosperous, peaceful and accountable economic world. Trade friction is set into the WTO's settlement process where the focus is on interpreting agreements and commitments, and how to make sure that countries' trade policies work

together. Then, the chance of problems spilling over into political or military situations is lessened. By lowering trade barriers, the WTO's system also breaks down other barriers between peoples and nations.

There are 148 members of the WTO as of February 2005. From Albania to Zimbabwe, many countries have become involved in the World Trade Organization over the years. Any state or customs territory having full autonomy in the conduct of its trade policies may become a member of the WTO, but all WTO members must agree on the terms. This is done through the establishment of a working party of WTO members and through a process of negotiations. All members have joined the...
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