The World Trade Organization (WTO) website defines itself as an organization as “born out of negotiations”. The WTO of today was created on January 1, 1995 and is comprised of 153 countries as of February 2011. The WTO’s mission statement centers around 3 agreements between its members: The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) (WTO, 2012). The WTO also serves the function of settling disputes between members and reviewing trade policy to ensure fairness and equity for all members.
When our group chose this topic there were split in our opinions of whether the WTO should be abolished. There were sentiments among the group members that the negotiating style and methodology of the WTO was too cumbersome and bureaucratic to achieve decisions that were in the best interest of all parties involved. Other members of the group felt that the WTO is still a valid organization that offers small countries a voice when negotiating with larger more capable nations. The following narrative will outline the most compelling arguments for and against abolishment of the WTO. The negotiating style of the WTO is multilateral, which can be very time consuming and increase the difficulty for the parties involved to reach a deal. The nations involved in the negotiating have different interest while all parties have different productivity and limited resources. It can be extremely time consuming to reach a deal among the countries and as the number of parties involved increases the time spent also can increase. For Instance, in November 2008, Brazil filed an Anti-Dumping dispute against the United States on imported orange juice from Brazil. Brazil claimed the United States had violated anti-dumping agreements between 2005-2008. A panel was assigned by the organization to review the dispute. The panel concluded their report and circulated it almost two and half years later in March of 2011. The panel found that the United States was in violation of agreements and requested the United States fix their practices to be in compliance with their original agreement. The United States and Brazil agreed that the United States should implement the changes within a nine-month period. On April 3, 2012, Brazil and the United States notified the panel that the procedures were agreed upon (WTO, 2012). There has to be a faster and more efficient way to handle disputes brought to the WTO. All the governments involved have jobs dedicated to deal with these types of situations and to resolve conflicts sooner is a waste of government funds which is ultimately a waste of people’s money. It is much easier and quicker to reach a trading deal by negotiating one by one. For example, the United States and China can reach an agreement on a certain trading policy. Subsequent to that, the United States and Japan reach another different trading policy. It is much more efficient and effective to negotiate these polices one-on-one rather than the three countries negotiating to reach a common trading policy. Every country has various interests, limited resources, and different productivity. Thus, the one to one negotiation can allocate the country’s differentiation. Nations cannot and should not be forced into engaging into a binding decision when others best interests are put before theirs. Therefore, the WTO policy of negotiating binding dispute resolution or changes in policy in a group settings is antiquated and should be replaced by one-on-one negotiating that is more effective in reaching common goals. The WTO is also hindered by special interest groups and lobbying efforts that may control the direction of WTO to approve policy that is only beneficial for big corporations. These interest groups have an impact on many trading policies as they advocate for favorable policy for themselves. For example, in agriculture sector,...
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