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"A Broad Description/Analsys Of The Wto Process Until This Day And The Future Of The Wto"

1966 words - 8 pages

"A broad description/analsys of the WTO process until this day and the future of the WTO"IntroductionWe have chosen to write our topical memo on "A broad description /analysis of the WTO process until this day and the future of the WTO". The Operative words here are " A broad". We have therefore not gone into deapth with regard to this paper. Our goal with this paper is to give the reader a broad understanding of how the WTO was started, its significant milestones, and what the future brings for the WTO.The General Agreement on Tariffs and TradeThe general agreement on tariffs and trade (GATT) was formed after the secound world war in 1947. It was singed by 23 countries. This purpose of GATT was to dismantle the high protectionist barriers that were then in existence and had incresed since the war (Gillingham 2002).The main objectives of GATT included the elimination of quotas, the gradual reduction of tariffs, the elimination of non-tariff trade barriers and equality between member countries. GATT was mostly numerous series of negotiations rounds. These mainly focused on the reduction of tariffs. Here the GATT was very successful, in only eight negotiation rounds it was able to reduce tariffs from 40% to below 4%. The later negotiations focused also on anti-dumping and non-tariff measures.The negotiations round in Punta del Este in Uruguay 1986 was to become the starting block for The World Trade Organisation (WTO), it later became known as the Uruguay round. These negotiations however lasted between 1986 to 1994. Until it was officially announced on January the 1st 1995 the founding of the WTO, with its headquarters in Geneva (Nielson, Taglioni 2003).In the beginning of the WTO, there were 123 member countries, and a long list of potential candidates wanting to enter. There were also new challenges to overcome. The main changes between the GATT and WTO were the shift towards a more judicalized, legally binding dispute settlement system (Barfield 2002 ). The WTO would also oversee new agreements on agriculture, services, trade related intellectual property rights, technical barriers to trade, and the phasing out quotas for texties and clouthing. The GATT aggreement was an international agreemant defining the rules of international trade as well as a global body that supported the agreement. The WTO has taken over this role as a global body that supports the agreement, and GATT's rules have been modified and incorporated into the WTO. The WTO is permanent, while GATT was provisional, and member countries have formally accepted the agreements of the WTO.Singapore roundMinisterial Conference in Singapore from 9 to 13 December 1996. The Conference was the first since the WTO entered into force on 1 January 1995. It included plenary meetings and various multilateral, plurilateral and bilateral business sessions. These examined issues related to the work of the WTO's first two years of activity and the implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreements....

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