The World Trade Organization Where It’s Been And Where’s It’s Going?

3561 words - 14 pages

The World Trade Organization Where It’s Been and Where’s It’s Going?

Even dating back to times of Aristotle there has always been some form of trade and along with trade came rules and regulations. In the time of Aristotle trading took place on a smaller scale and between people much like bartering. In the modern world trade is what makes the world function on a broader and larger scale. We have become globalized as a world and we now are engaged in free trade, among many countries. There still needs to be regulations for each individual country and for trade in general. For the past century the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) has been the one to deal with issues that would arise, between countries. The GATT wrote rules and regulations on things that were acceptable and not acceptable in the trade arena. Then about a decade ago at the Uruguay Round, the GATT was meeting and decided that there needed to be another organization to meet the needs and enforced the articles written by GATT. This is way the World Trade Organization came about. The WTO has come under both praise and criticism for the work that they do, these ideas will be further discussed in the pages to come. They have had issues brought to their table that have no doubt been hard, but they must try to please all parties involved using the articles of GATT.

Pleasing all parties is impossible since the WTO must follow those regulations, therefore they cannot make all parties content. Today and in future, cases will continue to be brought to their table, where they are expected to give the best response based on the articles, but also on research and past cases. Countries have battled amongst each other as how to solve a problem such as The Beef Hormone case, The Shrimp Turtle case and the Clean Air case. These were cases that will be discussed later, but have set a kind of foundation for the WTO as to where they will be headed in the future. There was a recent conference in Cancun where issues of the future were discussed and a few points will be touched on later in the paper. The WTO will continue to forever change and bring about new ideas, but it is always nice know where organizations start and where they may be going.

The World Trade Organization

The World Trade Organization was developed in 1995 out of what was known as the Uruguay Round. Although GATT set rules they mostly dealt with issues just involving simple trade of goods and the distribution of tariffs. The WTO has a broader job than the GATT; “…it oversees multilateral agreements relating not just to good, but also to services, investment and intellectual property.” (Douglas Irwin, 186) The World Trade Organization is an independent organization and decisions are made out of consensus of the member countries involved, not from the World Trade Organization itself. When a country complains about another country and the way they run things that could affect their home country,...

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