The World Trade Organization Essay

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The World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on January 1, 1995 and is the most powerful trade body in the world. It has 133 member nations and 33 nations with observer status who have applied for membership. (Americanlands) On behalf of its members the WTO "promotes, monitors and adjudicates international trade" (Goldstein 378) in order to establish a free trade system. It covers every field of economic and social endeavors, including: textiles, agriculture, clothing, telecommunications, banking, government purchases, food sanitation regulations, services, industrial standards and intellectual property. (Americanlands) Although this organization is seemingly beneficial, like all
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(globalexchange) The U.S. Marine Mammal Act placed an embargo on tuna caught by mile-long nets that kill hundreds of thousands of dolphins. Mexico claimed this was a way for America to protect trade by closing markets to foreign competitors and sued them. The law was declared illegal under WTO rules and America eliminated the embargo. (americanlands) A judge on the dispute panel was from a corporate front group that lobbied on behalf of the Mexican government for NAFTA. (globalexchange) The WTO is being used by big corporations to discredit environmental protections, which are said to be "barriers to trade". (globalexchange) In 1993, America created the US Clean Air Act. A provision of this act required foreign and domestic producers of gasoline to make cleaner gasoline. (Sforza, Wallach) The very first WTO panel stated that this was illegal. (globalexchange) Another issue was the Shrimp-Turtle ruling. The US required toaht foreign and domestic shrimp fishers use nets with turtle excluder devices to protect this endangered species. The lwa was said to be illegal by the WTO. Several Asian nations who did not use these nets were unable to sell their shrimp in the US, therefore sued claiming that the US could not use import bans to influence fishing behavior. The WTO agreed. (americanlands) They are also currently negotiating an agreement dealing with tariffs on wood products. By eliminating these

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