Through these agreements, WTO members are establishing a non-discriminatory trading system that defines their rights and obligations. Each member is guaranteed that its exports to other member markets will be treated fairly and consistently. Everyone promises to do the same for imports in their own market. The system also provides developing countries with some flexibility in implementing their commitments. The result is a more prosperous, peaceful and responsible economic world. Decisions taken in the WTO are generally taken by consensus among all members and ratified by members` parliaments. Trade disputes are integrated into the WTO dispute settlement process, which focuses on interpreting agreements and commitments and how to ensure consistency in members` trade policy. This reduces the risk of disputes spreading to political or military conflicts. A more detailed introduction to the WTO and its agreements. The Aid to Trade initiative, launched in 2005 by WTO members, aims to help developing countries develop trade capacity, improve infrastructure and improve opportunities for trade opening. To date, more than $340 billion has been provided to support aid-for-trade projects.
A comprehensive review of the initiative is held every two years at WTOs headquarters. The WTOs govern the agreements are the result of negotiations between the members. The current series is, to a large extent, the result of the 1986-1994 Uruguay Round negotiations, which included a complete revision of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Decisions are made by the whole membership. It`s usually consensual. A majority decision is also possible, but it has never been used in the WTO and has been extremely rare under the WTO`s predecessor, GATT. The WTOs agreements have been ratified by all members` parliaments. The WTOs procedure for the settlement of trade disputes under the dispute settlement agreement is essential to the application of the rules and, therefore, to the fluidity of trade. Governments argue disputes in the WTO if they feel their rights are being violated by WTO agreements. Specially designated independent expert judgments are based on the interpretation of each member`s agreements and obligations.
The system encourages members to resolve their differences through consultation. If it turns out that this has not been successful, they may go through a step-by-step procedure, which provides for the possibility of a decision by a panel of experts and the possibility of appealing the judgment for legal reasons. Confidence in the system is confirmed by the number of cases brought to the WTO since the creation of the WTO compared to the 300 disputes that have been dealt with throughout the GATT (1947-1994). The Uruguay Round has created new rules for trade in services and intellectual property as well as new dispute resolution procedures. The complete set consists of approximately 30,000 pages, consisting of some thirty separate agreements and commitments (timetables) of individual members in specific areas such as. B lower rates and opening up the market to services. Many specialized committees, working groups and working groups deal with individual agreements and other areas such as the environment, development, membership applications and regional trade agreements. The WTO`s Trade Policy Review Mechanism aims to improve transparency, improve understanding of trade policies followed by WTO members and assess their impact. Many members see evaluations as a constructive feedback on their policies.
All WTO members must be subject to regular review, with each revision including reports from the relevant member and WTO secretariat. In addition, the WTO regularly monitors global trade measures. Initially launched in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, this global trade monitoring has become a regular function of the WTO, with the aim of highlighting the implementation by WTO members of measures that are both f