The intergovernmental organization that is in charge of international trade is the world trade organization. Also, it is responsible for regulating international trade. Under the Marrakesh Agreement, in January 1995 it was established. It was signed by more than 120 countries and presented in April 1994. Before the WTO, the general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) used to regulate international trade.
World Trade Organisation Definition
WTO is a forum where governments of various members m nations negotiate the trade agreements and deals with the regulation of trade between the nations.
So, it provides a framework for member countries to negotiate. So, we can also say that it is an organization used for trade opening. Thus, the main function of WTO is to operate a system where trade rules are set.
Thus, it is a place where the government of member nations tries to resolve their trade problems. Currently, the director general of the world trade organization is Roberto Azevedo.
He leads a staff of more 600 people which and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Currently, there are more than 160 member countries of the organization. There are three official languages used in WTO. They are Spanish, French, and English.
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Main activities of WTO
- It negotiates any reduction or elimination of the obstacles in a trade like import taxes and other barriers. It does so by agreeing the member nations to follow a rule governing to conduct of the international trade.
- WTO also monitors and administers the application of WTO rules in trading goods, trade-related intellectual properties, and service trades.
- Also, it settles the disputes between the member nations about the application and interpretation of the agreements.
- WTO reviews and monitors various policies of trade to its members. Also, it ensures that there is transparency in the bilateral and regional trade agreements.
- It helps build the capacity of a developing nation and its government officials in the matters of international trade.
- It also collects and conducts economic research by disseminating the trade data in the support of its other main activities.
Activities of WTO in India
- India is a member of WTO since its formation as well as a member of GATT since 1948. Due to aligning with WTO India has gained more power in terms of trade with other nations. Some of the recent activities of India alongside WTO is,
- India decides to launch a safe investigation for unwrought aluminum
- India notified the committee of WTO on safeguard in April 2016 related to safety investigation done by WTO on unwrought aluminum on April 19, 2016.
Ratification of trade facilitation agreement
- The WTO ambassador for India Anjali Prasad gave the country’s instrument of acceptance to the director general of WTO, Roberto Azevedo on April 2016.
- India appealed to a panel report in reference to a dispute with the USA regarding solar modules and solar cells
- India filed a notice of appeal on April 20, 2016, regarding a dispute with the United States of America over solar cells and modules. It stated that certain measures related to solar cells and modules. So, India appealed certain issues regarding the law which was covered in the panel report. There were also certain legal interpretations developed by the report in this dispute.
Practice Questions on World Trade Organization
Q. Currently, the headquarters of WTO is located in
A. Geneva 0 B. Washington DC C. Austria D. New York
Q. From the given list, which country is not a member of the WTO?
A. Belarus B. India C. Iran D. Azerbaijan E. None of the above
Answer: E. None of the above