More than 140 countries belong to the WTO, and membership is voluntary. Some countries hold observer status with the WTO, which enables the country to follow discussions and matters of particular interest. Some WTO committees are for members only, however, and do not allow observers.
WTO decisions are made by consensus rather than by delegation to a board of directors or leader. The WTO's highest authority is the Ministerial Conference, whose members meet at least once every two years. The WTO General Council, with the Dispute Settlement Body and the Trade Policy Review Body, handles the WTO's day-to-day duties. These day-to-day entities, which are collectively referred to as the General Council, act on behalf of the Ministerial Conference and are composed of several subcouncils, including the Council for Trade in Goods, the Council for Trade in Services and the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Each subcouncil has several committees.
WTO members negotiate World Trade Agreements, which are later ratified by the participating nations' parliaments or congresses. WTO agreements involve five principles:
1. With some exceptions, members must provide equal trade-agreement terms to all fellow WTO countries. This equal treatment is known as most-favored-nation status. Members also must offer "national treatment," meaning a WTO member may not discriminate against products from other WTO countries once the products have entered the member's market.
2. WTO agreements must work to lower trade barriers such as customs duties, tariffs, import bans and quotas.
3. WTO agreements must help provide a stable and predictable business environment by including commitments about future trade policies.
4. WTO agreements must define fair and unfair trade practices.
5. WTO agreements must consider the special needs developing countries may have in implementing WTO requirements.
Dispute settlement processes are written into WTO agreements, which are legally binding. WTO members enforce agreements according to predetermined procedures, but there is some concern that economically strong countries may be able to ignore complaints brought by poorer countries, whose sanctions or other penalties may not hurt the offending country enough to stimulate compliance.
World Trade Organization (WTO)World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization which aims at improving the welfare of the people of member counties and for unrestricted trade between nations. It consists of 146 members out of which 98 are developing countries with rest least developing counties. Volume of world trade. It also settles disputes between two nations through its panes of members.
The WTO is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main faction is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably countries with important trade rights. It also binds government of trade policies. The main goal of WTO is to improve the welfare of its member countries.
(a) Administer trade agreements
(b) Settle disputes over trade
(c) Review natioanltrade policies
(d) Play active rote in trade negotiations.
(e) Aid developing countries in technical and training aspects.
(f) Co-operate with other international organizations
WTO has 146 members out of which 112 are developing countries. All members may participate in all councils, committees’ etc. excepting dispute settlement, appellate body and textiles monitoring body.
It consists of trade policy review body, disputes settlement body, genera council and trade negotiation committee.
The general council is further classified into :
(a) Committees on trade and environment:This includes trade and development, regional trade agreements, budget , finance and administration, transfer of technology and working groups on relationship between trade and investment.
(b) Council for trade in goods:This comprises of committees on market access, antidumping practices, customer valuation, import licensing and textile monitoring body.
(c) Council for trade related aspects of intellectual property rights
(d) Council for Trade in Services:This consists of committees on specific commitments and working parties on domestic regulations.
(e) Council for trade in Service:This includes dispute settlement body, committee on agriculture and committee on trade and development.
WTO takes 60 days in settling disputes among nations over trade. It consists of dispute settlement panel that form and expert review group and gives its report about the two parties under dispute. The dispute settlement body based on the report proceeds further to settle the disputes between the two parties.
The result of WTO is a more prosperous peaceful and accountable economic world. All discussions in WTO are taken by the member countries and functions are settled thereby reducing conflict between its member countries. It answers the consumer and producer that they can enjoy secure supplies and greater choice of the fished products, components, raw materials and services.
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