What is the WTO (World Trade Organization)?


World Trade Organization (WTO) – an organization created in 1995 with the aim of establishing international trade and regulating the trade and political relations of the member states.

The WTO began its activities as the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), concluded in 1947.

The World Trade Organization WTO is a community of countries that recognize its Charter and adhere to the main agreements governing foreign trade. Currently, the WTO is not a UN body and has mechanisms for resolving trade issues between member states.

The WTO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization includes both developed and developing countries from all continents. Initially, the countries participating in the World Trade Organization were 77 states. For 2021, it has 164 members (160 internationally recognized states, Taiwan, 2 dependent territories and the European Union).

Official website of the WTO: www.wto.org

What are the tasks of the WTO?

The tasks of the WTO include:

  • control over the implementation of agreements and agreements of the package of documents of the Uruguay Round;
  • conducting multilateral trade negotiations between interested member countries;
  • settlement of trade disputes;
  • monitoring the national trade policies of the member countries;
  • cooperation with international specialized organizations.

The WTO rules regulate only trade and economic issues. In general, the WTO promotes the ideas of free trade, seeking to remove any protectionist barriers.

What does WTO accession give a country?

The main benefits of WTO membership are:

  • assistance in creating favorable conditions in the international trade market in the form of developing stable, strong trade relations between the participating countries (including assistance in creating favorable conditions in foreign economic policy);
  • elimination of all kinds of discrimination, protection of the interests of both national and common interests of the WTO member countries, if they are infringed upon by other partner countries;
  • assistance in the implementation of the plans, the emergence of new trade and economic interests.

All countries that have joined the World Trade Organization undertake to comply with the terms of agreements, legal documents, which are united under a single term “Multilateral Trade Agreement” (MTS). In other words, the organization provides a package of agreements (contracts), rules, defined rules that govern all world trade.

Observer status received from international organizations: the World Bank, the UN and the IMF.

Accession of Russia and the WTO

Negotiations on Russia’s accession to the WTO lasted 18 years. The Russian Federation became a full member of the organization since August 22, 2012. The most difficult negotiations were with the United States and the European Union. In particular, for a long time with Washington it was not possible to resolve issues of access to the Russian market for American pork and the protection of intellectual property rights, with the EU – on export duties on timber, on agriculture, on the terms of industrial assembly of cars on the territory of the Russian Federation.

A short video with basic information about the WTO. It is a little old, so the number of participants does not coincide with the current one, but the meaning remains the same.

In the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”

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