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By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain the origin and role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
  • Discuss the significance and provide examples of regional trading agreements
  • Analyze trade policy at the national level
  • Evaluate long-term trends in barriers to trade

These public policy arguments about how nations should react to globalization and trade are fought out at several levels: at the global level through the World Trade Organization and through regional trade agreements between pairs or groups of countries.

The world trade organization

The World Trade Organization (WTO)    was officially born in 1995, but its history is much longer. In the years after the Great Depression and World War II, there was a worldwide push to build institutions that would tie the nations of the world together. The United Nations officially came into existence in 1945. The World Bank, which assists the poorest people in the world, and the International Monetary Fund, which addresses issues raised by international financial transactions, were both created in 1946. The third planned organization was to be an International Trade Organization, which would manage international trade. The United Nations was unable to agree to this. Instead, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)    , was established in 1947 to provide a forum in which nations could come together to negotiate reductions in tariffs and other barriers to trade. In 1995, the GATT was transformed into the WTO.

The GATT process was to negotiate an agreement to reduce barriers to trade, sign that agreement, pause for a while, and then start negotiating the next agreement. The rounds of talks in the GATT, and now the WTO, are shown in [link] . Notice that the early rounds of GATT talks took a relatively short time, included a small number of countries, and focused almost entirely on reducing tariffs. Since the 1970s, however, rounds of trade talks have taken years, included a large number of countries, and an ever-broadening range of issues.

The negotiating rounds of gatt and the world trade organization
Year Place or Name of Round Main Subjects Number of Countries Involved
1947 Geneva Tariff reduction 23
1949 Annecy Tariff reduction 13
1951 Torquay Tariff reduction 38
1956 Geneva Tariff reduction 26
1960–61 Dillon round Tariff reduction 26
1964–67 Kennedy round Tariffs, anti-dumping measures 62
1973–79 Tokyo round Tariffs, nontariff barriers 102
1986–94 Uruguay round Tariffs, nontariff barriers, services, intellectual property, dispute settlement, textiles, agriculture, creation of WTO 123
2001– Doha round Agriculture, services, intellectual property, competition, investment, environment, dispute settlement 147

The sluggish pace of GATT negotiations led to an old joke that GATT really stood for Gentleman’s Agreement to Talk and Talk. The slow pace of international trade talks, however, is understandable, even sensible. Having dozens of nations agree to any treaty is a lengthy process. GATT often set up separate trading rules for certain industries, like agriculture, and separate trading rules for certain countries, like the low-income countries. There were rules, exceptions to rules, opportunities to opt out of rules, and precise wording to be fought over in every case. Like the GATT before it, the WTO is not a world government, with power to impose its decisions on others. The total staff of the WTO in 2014 is 640 people and its annual budget (as of 2014) is $197 million, which makes it smaller in size than many large universities.

Questions & Answers

but if I may ask what brings this poverty in existence and how can such actions be deminish in our generation
Philemon Reply
Poverty comes from many factors, ranging from very low income for the households sector (purchasing power is low), basic needs such as safe drinking water, lack of sustainable development goals (roads, agriculture, technology, power, etc), business sector is poor, etc
Hadji
Such action can be diminished by effectively and efficiently using the four (4) factors of production. Land, Labor , Capital and Technology.
Hadji
Poverty - Increase in the cost of living without subsequent increase in the amount of minimum wage. Poverty can be reduced extremely if the minimum wage equals or equals more than the cost of living.
harmony
land labour capital and organisation factors of production
divya
what are positive and normative statements
Alethia Reply
p
Mohd
positive is realistic normative is imaginary
Prashant
give basic idea about India's national income
Maloy Reply
what are the sources of recessions and booms
Zweli Reply
A few years ago, Ama paid $500 to put together a record collection. Today she sold her albums at a garage sale for $100. how does the same affect GDP?
teresa Reply
It saves time its creates more employment
Gold Reply
Scarcity means human wants exceeds the resources needed to satisfy them 1. Limited resources 2. Numerous human wants
Gold
Scarcity means shortage!!!
Lewis
Gold you're knowlwgist bro keep going lion
Moha
hmm am fresh here oh
Andy
Being newest means u have it all!!!
Lewis
where you from university of malakand.or where are you.
Naeemuddin
What is mean by small open economy ?
Gecho
1. there is specialization of labor 2. skilled labor 3. increase in productivity
Amma Reply
1 to make right choices 2. to handle scarcity 3. make informed decisions
Amma
what is the difference between demand and quantity demanded?
Mursal Reply
Demand is affected by other factors while price is held constant Quantity demanded is affected by price while other factors are held constant
Gold
discuss advantages and disadvantages of international trade.
Ram Reply
how can I ask the question here . tell me anyone plz I'm new user so kindly help here I will click ......?..🤗
ISRAR
me . I'm *
ISRAR
So kindly help me. where I will click......***
ISRAR
What are the reasons of demand pull inflation
GIRIDHARI Reply
the reasons behind pull inflation are high rate of interest
Ahmed
yes
M-H-S
in other hand when demand of specific commodity is high and its supply is low there will be inflation of price
Ahmed
Thank you
GIRIDHARI
you are welcome
Ahmed
thank you
Mohamed
some hot stuff from Ahmed
JOSHUA
what is barter system
twinkel Reply
a system in which goods are exchanged for other goods
daniel
Barter system is said to be the process whereby goods are being exchange for goods
Asamoah
a system in which money have not play any role
Ramu
goods and services are exchanged .. problem is finding equitable or agreeable value for the exchange of the goods or services.. I teach maths privately and love home made cake, I decided 4 home made cakes was worth an hour of private maths 😁
jax
ok.thank u
twinkel
thanks a lot to everyone .
ISRAR
bater system is a system of trade where by goods are exchange for goods which exist before existence of what we call money
ADEGOKE
accounts in balance of trade
Kamuyu Reply
What is fiscal policy and intrest rates
Attah Reply
fiscal policy is the use of govt. revenue collection and expenditure to influence the economy.
twinkel
it is government spending, taxing, regulatory, borrowing powers on the economy.
JOSHUA
income and expenditure
Bittu Reply
Income is revenue generated from a business while expenditure is money spent
Gold
For short income is gain while expenditure is loss.
Lewis
what is the difference b/w income per capita and income
Moha
What is aggregate
Patrice
aggregate means total
konglan
Macro economics : it is the study of all aggregate of all economic activities of an economic as whole.
Rajat Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Macroeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Jun 16, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11626/1.10
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