World Trade Organization: Good or Bad?.
The world trade organization (WTO) is an international body established in 1994 to introduce, apply, and oversee international trade regulations and laws. The WTO was designed to create and enforce world trade agreements, as well as to enforce preexisting agreements. Another duty is to oversee the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT. The WTO takes GATT one step further by including not only merchandise goods, but also trade in services and creative works.
As of the time my research materials had been published, the WTO had 144 members, with about thirty applications still pending. The main station is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is run by ambassadors of the participating states, and decisions must be unanimously accepted in order to be placed into effect. Every two years, a ministerial conference meets to appoint the director-general.
Many people oppose the WTO. Those that do fear that it has too much power in terms of adversely affecting trade regulations in more powerful nations, thus neglecting issues such as domestic workers" rights. In addition, these groups feel that the WTO is only beneficial monetarily to such more powerful nations, and that it neglects many issues that adversely affect developing countries. Many feel that these smaller countries are provided with little aid with regard to ensuring fair and equal trade between them and much larger, more powerful nations due to a lack of any real experience in a global economy. Because of this inexperience, these developing countries have the inability to make formal judgments that will lead to positive economic results for them in the long run, and the WTO in such cases empowers, if you will, the larger and better-established world powers to take advantage of these developing nations. Recently, protestors gathered outside a WTO conference in Seattle, Washington.