WTO Activities In International Trade

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161 members, of which 117 are developing countries or separate customs territories. WTO activities are supported by a Secretariat of some 700 staff, led by the WTO Director-General. The Secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland, and has an annual budget of approximately CHF 200 million ($180 million, €130 million). The three official languages of the WTO are English, French and Spanish. Decisions in the WTO are generally taken by consensus of the entire membership. The highest institutional body is the Ministerial Conference, which meets roughly every two years. A General Council conducts the organization's business in the intervals between Ministerial Conferences. Both of these bodies comprise all members. Specialised subsidiary bodies…show more content…
antidumping, subsidies, product standards, etc.) — administering and monitoring the application of the WTO's agreed rules for trade in goods, trade in services, and trade-related intellectual property rights — monitoring and reviewing the trade policies of our members, as well as ensuring transparency of regional and bilateral trade agreements — settling disputes among our members regarding the interpretation and application of the agreements — building capacity of developing country government officials in international trade…show more content…
But the WTO is not just about opening markets, and in some circumstances its rules support maintaining trade barriers — for example, to protect consumers or prevent the spread of disease. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations. These documents provide the legal ground rules for international commerce. They are essentially contracts, binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits. Although negotiated and signed by governments, the goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business, while allowing governments to meet social and environmental objectives. The system’s overriding purpose is to help trade flow as freely as possible — so long as there are no undesirable side effects — because this is important for economic development and well-being. That partly means removing obstacles. It also means ensuring that individuals, companies and governments know what the trade rules are around the world, and giving them the confidence that there will be no sudden changes of policy. In other words, the rules have to be ‘transparent’ and
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