The World Trade Organization Where It’s Been and Where’s It’s Going?
Since the start of trade in the United States and around the world there has always been a need for rules and regulations. The GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) was the one for the past century that dealt with issues that would arise they wrote rules on things that were acceptable and not acceptable in the trade arena. Out of the GATT came the World Trade Organization (WTO) that was designed to take care of more issues than GATT. Although the WTO has only been around for almost a decade it has come under criticism from almost all arenas. They have had issues brought to their table that have been hard decisions and now have issues they must deal with that could affect the way free trade is in the future. Countries have battled amongst each other as how to solve a problem such as The Beef Hormone Case, The Shrimp Turtle case and the Caribbean Banana Case. These were case 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. Agriculture has become a hot issue in the international market and the WTO is still trying to find ways to accommodate the developed countries and develop further growth in the developing nations. The World Trade Organization is also stepping into new territory and the future is no exception.
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 more broad 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 the home country WTO must make a decision on what must be done. Once a ruling has been made the losing country must implement one of three strategies:
1) Change to conform to the WTO requirements
2) Pay permanent compensation toe the wining country
3) Face non-negotiated trade sanctions
Though countries have a right to complain to the WTO it is feared that the World Trade Organization does not enforce laws that could protect consumers, workers and the environment. On the other side the organization as a whole is more pro-industry and for the producers. This has always posed a problem because consumers and others feel that they should be protected and listened to even if it is contrary to what the country, as a whole may want.
Cases Brought to the World Trade Organization
Cases that have been ruled on within the WTO have had many different outcomes, but...