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World Trade organization: History, Structure and Functions

World Trade Organization: History

The World Trade Organization originated from the Uruguay round of GATT, General Agreement on Trade and Tariff 1986-1993. The members of GATT signed an agreement in Morocco, to establish a new organization, World Trade Organization. GATT was founded in 1948, it included 23 nations as global or international trade organizations to carry out all multilateral trade agreements. The World Trade Organization was established on 1st January 1995. It is a successor of GATT and its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. The main function of the World Trade Organization is to negotiate trade agreements amount several countries and resolve any trade disputes. There are 60 (Global) trade according to international law and 300 regional trade agreements.

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Structure of the World Trade Organization

The important decisions of the World Trade Organization are made by the Ministerial Conference. It meets every two years and addresses the issues of WTO. The Ministerial Conference holds the supreme authority of the world trade organization. It includes the representatives of all members of the World Trade Organization. The Ministerial Conference is the head of WTO and the daily operations of the WTO are carried out by three different bodies, namely, the General council, Dispute Settlement Body, and Trade Policy Review Body.

  1. General council- The General council comprises representatives from all member governments and acts as the representative of the Ministerial Conference. It carries out the implementation and monitoring functions of the World Trade Organization.
  2. Dispute Settlement Body- As the name suggests the body works under the General council and resolves the disputes between member states. This is an appellate body, therefore members are allowed to appeal any decisions made against them during the settlements.
  3. Trade policy review body- It is a part of the General council and it ensures that the trade policies of the members are within the goals of the World Trade Organization. If there is any change in law and trade policies of the member countries then they have to inform the World Trade Organization. Trade Policy Review Body regularly reviews the rules and laws.

Functions of World Trade Organization

  1. To implement rules and provisions related to trade policy review according to the Rules and laws of the World Trade Organization.
  2. It provides a platform for member countries to discuss and create different future strategies related to trade and tariffs.
  3. It provides facilities for implementation, administration, and operations of multilateral and bilateral agreements of the World Trade Organization.
  4. It administers rules and resolves the disputes between member countries related or trading.
  5. It ensures that there is optimum use of world resources.
  6. It assists international organizations to establish coherence in Universal economic policy determination, such as IMF and IBRD.

FAQs related to the world trade organization

1. What is the World trade organization?
Ans. It is a multilateral organization that works as the central body that facilitates global trade. The headquarters of the world trade organization is in Geneva, Switzerland.

2. How many trade agreements are there in the World Trade Organization?
Ans. There are 60 trade agreements in the World Trade Organization according to the records.

3. What are the main features of the World Trade Organization?
Ans. The main features of the World Trade Organization are to trade in commodities, promote international trade, and Implement greater marketplace access to all member nations.

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