The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that promotes and regulates international trade. It was established in 1995 and currently has 164 member countries. One of the key functions of the WTO is to facilitate agreements between its member countries that promote free and fair trade. In this article, we will discuss the importance of agreement in the WTO and some of the major agreements that have been established.
Why is agreement important in the WTO?
Agreement is essential to the functioning of the WTO. The organization operates on the basis of a consensus-based decision-making process, which means that all member countries must agree on any new rules or regulations. This ensures that all countries have an equal say in the organization`s activities and that decisions are made in the best interests of all members.
Agreement is also crucial in ensuring that the WTO`s rules and regulations are implemented effectively. Without agreement, member countries may be less willing to comply with the organization`s rules, which could lead to a breakdown in the trading system.
Major WTO agreements
There are several major agreements that have been established within the WTO, each of which addresses a particular aspect of international trade. These include:
1. General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): This agreement, which was first established in 1948, seeks to reduce barriers to trade between member countries. It has since been replaced by the WTO Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, but many of its principles still underpin the organization`s work.
2. Agreement on Agriculture: This agreement aims to reform agricultural trade by reducing subsidies and increasing market access. It was established in 1994 as part of the Uruguay Round of negotiations.
3. Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS): This agreement establishes minimum standards for intellectual property protection in member countries. It was established in 1994 as part of the Uruguay Round of negotiations.
4. Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement): This agreement sets out rules for the protection of human, animal, and plant health in international trade. It was established in 1994 as part of the Uruguay Round of negotiations.
5. Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement): This agreement sets out rules for the development and use of technical standards and regulations in international trade. It was established in 1995 as part of the WTO`s founding agreement.
Agreement is essential to the functioning of the WTO and the promotion of free and fair trade between its member countries. The organization has established several major agreements that address different aspects of international trade, including the reduction of barriers to trade, the reform of agricultural trade, and the protection of intellectual property rights. By working together and reaching consensus-based decisions, member countries can ensure that the trading system operates in the best interests of all parties involved.