What is WTO:- “The World Trade Organization is ‘member-driven’, with decisions taken by General agreement among all member of governments and it deals with the rules of trade between nations at a global or near-global level. But there is more to it than that.”
They deal with:- Agriculture, textiles and clothing, banking, telecommunications, government purchases, industrial standards and product safety, food sanitation regulations, intellectual property, and much more.
The WTO agreements are lengthy and complex because they are legal texts covering a wide range of activities.
History of WTO:- WTO began its life on 1 January 1995 Before WTO its name was GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) with a view to flows of trade are going smooth, predictable and free from hassles. The purpose of the WTO is to let the consumers and producers enjoy secure supplies and greater choice for the finished products.
Brief History of GATT:- Established in 1948. GATT is both a code of rules and a forum in which countries can discuss and resolve their trade disputes and negotiate to enlarge world trading opportunities. A multilateral accord, subscribed to by 115 governments. 117 countries participated in the most recent negotiating round. In the 1960s, attempts were made to bring agriculture and other sectors beyond manufacturing.
Contd… The Dillon Round (1 960-62). In 1963-67, the Kennedy Round attempted to liberalize trade in agriculture. In 1973-79, the Tokyo Round again tackled agriculture. The Uruguay Round (1986-94) was the most ambitious round of GATT negotiations. After seven years of negotiations, the GATT reached an agreement on December 15,1993. With the approval of member governments, the agreement is scheduled to take effect in 1995. Formal signing of the agreement took place on April 15, 1994, in Marrakech, Morocco.
The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) adds services Trade in Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) adds copyrights, and patents Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) sets rules for Foreign Direct Investment. Government Procurement (GPA) & the Information Technologies (ITA) agreements also international rules on new product areas. GATT to WTO WTO also broke new ground, adding a number of trade sectors and issues not addressed by the GATT
Assisting developing countries with training and technical assistance.
Cooperation with other Internationals organizations.
Why WTO? To arrange the implementation, administration and operations of multilateral (involving three or more participants) and plurilateral trade agreements (power which shared between different countries). To arrange the forum for deliberations for the member nations in regard to their multilateral trade relations in issues deal with under the agreements.
To provide a framework for implementing of the results arising out of the deliberations (long and care full agreements/consideration) which taken place at ministerial conference level. To manage the created understanding on rules and procedure governing the settlement of disputes. To manage effectively and efficiency the trade policy review mechanism (TRIM). To create more together relationship with all nations in respect of global economic policy-making, it would cooperate with the IMF and the world bank & its affiliated Organizations.
Year Rounds / Events 1947 The Birth of GATT at Palais des Nations at Geneva 1948 Entry into Force(Havana, Cuba) 1949 Second Round at Annecy, France. 1950 Third Round at Torquay, UK 1956 Fourth Round at Geneva 1958 The Haberler Report 1960 Fifth Round (The Dillon Round) 1961 Beginning of the MFA 1964 The Kennedy Round 1965 Trade and Development Chapter 1973 The Tokyo Round 1974 Multifibre Arrangement (MFA). Important meetings:-
Contd… 1982 Seeds of Uruguay Round 1986 Eighth Round (The Uruguay Round at Punta del Este, Uruguay) 1988 Midterm Review of the Uruguay Round 1993 Successful Conclusion of the Uruguay Round 1994 Signing of the Uruguay Round Agreements in Marrakesh 1995 Establishment of the World Trade Organization 1996 Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) 1996 First World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference to be held in Singapore 1997 Telecom Agreement 1998 Geneva Ministerial 1999 Seattle Ministerial Conference 2000 Mandated Negotiations 2001 Ministerial Conference at Doha 2003 Fifth Ministerial Conference at Cancun, Mexico.
Ministerial Conference:- Topmost Decision making body. Consist of all WTO members. Held at least once every two years. Make decisions on all matters.
General Council:- Includes ambassadors and heads of delegation in GENEVA. The general Council is also meet as the Dispute Settlement Body and the Trade Policy Review Body. The Committee on Trade and Development and Committee on Trade and Environment are two of the several committees continued or established under the Marrakech Agreement in 1994.
Goods Council:- Has 11 committees. Deals in Agriculture, Market Access, Subsidies, Anti-dumping measures etc. Reporting to Textile Monitoring Body- consist a chairman and 10 members. Deals with notifications.
Service Council:- Has subsidiary bodies. Deals with Financial services, domestic regulations, GATS rules and Specific commitments.
TRIPS Council:- Related to Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Deals with copyrights, patents, trademarks, geographical names.