Wto Mission Statement

1397 Words May 6th, 2013 6 Pages
World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO mission statement
The World Trade Organization — the WTO — is the international organization whose primary purpose is to open trade for the benefit of all. (About the WTO — a statement by the Director-General, 2012)

The WTO has existed under its current name since 1995. (About the WTO — a statement by the Director-General, 2012) The following analysis discusses the period from 1995 to the current time, but focuses on the last 10 years. Further, this analysis will suggest that the WTO has been mostly ineffective in accomplishing its primary mission. The scope of this article is not to determine whether free trade itself is a positive concept, instead it is to determine the
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The Center for International Environmental Law has criticized this dispute settlement process for its lack of transparency and democratic accountability, as well as for a perceived insensitivity to environmental and social standards. (Global Trade Negotiations Homepage)

Is the WTO run by the rich, for the rich? I do not believe that the evidence supports this conclusion. The richer countries do have a significant ability to influence the WTO and its member states. The WTO, however, makes the majority of its decisions by consensus. The WTO’s other means ofdecision making requires either two-thirds or three quarters majority. (UNDERSTANDING THE WTO: THE ORGANIZATION, 2013) This requirement for near consensus could actually be the fatal flaw of the WTO. Trying to gain consensus in any situation is extremely difficult and does not aid in making rapid decisions regarding trade.

The WTO’s earlier years as well as its current ratified treaties did not attempt to improver labor conditions in poorer countries. Until the Doha Round the WTO did not consider environmental issues when negotiating treaties. However, situations have changed with time and Doha tried to address, but failed, these issues. The WTO did fail therefore it is true that the WTO has been ineffective in progressive reforms in labor or the environment.

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