The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 proposed the creation of an International Trade Organization (ITO) to establish rules and regulations for trade between countries. The ITO charter was agreed at the UN Conference on Trade and Employment in Havana in March 1948, but was blocked by the U.S. Senate (WTO, 2004b). Some historians have argued that the failure may have resulted from fears within the American business community that the International Trade Organization could be used to regulate, rather than liberate, big business (Lisa Wilkins, 1997; Helen Milner 1993).
Only one element of the ITO survived: the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Seven rounds of negotiations occurred under GATT before the eighth round - the Uruguay Round - concluded in 1995 with the establishment of the WTO as the GATT's replacement. The GATT principles and agreements were adopted by the WTO, which was charged with administering and extending them. Unlike the GATT, the WTO has a substantial institutional structure.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization designed to supervise and liberalize international trade. The WTO came into being on 1 January 1995, and is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was created in 1947, and continued to operate for almost five decades as a de facto international organization.
The World Trade Organization deals with the rules of trade between nations at a near-global level; it is responsible for negotiating and implementing new trade agreements, and is in charge of policing member countries' adherence to all the WTO agreements, signed by the majority of the world's trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations, especially from the Uruguay Round. The organization is currently working with its members on a new trade negotiation called the Doha Development Agenda (Doha...