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Tags Current Affairs

WTO

Date: 12 February 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is set to become the WTO's director-general on March 1. She's the first woman and first African to lead the group.

 

Details

  • The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international institution that oversees the global trade rules among nations.

  • It superseded the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) created in the wake of World War II.

 

Components of WTO

 

The General Council

  • The WTO General Council is the highest-level decision-making body in the WTO that meets on a regular basis during the year. 

  • It has representatives from all member governments and has the authority to act on behalf of the ministerial conference which only meets about every two years. 

 

The Dispute Settlement Body

  • The operation of the WTO dispute settlement process involves case-specific panels appointed by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), the Appellate Body, The Director-General and the WTO Secretariat, arbitrators, and advisory experts.

  • The priority is to settle disputes, preferably through a mutually agreed solution, and provision has been made for the process to be conducted in an efficient and timely manner.

  • The dispute settlement system cannot be used to resolve trade disputes that arise from political disagreements.

 

The Trade Policy Review Body

  • The Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) is a subsidiary body of the General Council created by the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO to administer the Trade

  • Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM). The WTO Secretariat produces an independent report on the trade policies and practices of the Member under review.

 

Role played by WTO

  • Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably, and freely as possible.

  • By lowering trade barriers through negotiations among member governments, the WTO’s system also breaks down other barriers between peoples and trading economies.

  • They also bind governments to keep their trade policies transparent and predictable which is to everybody’s benefit.

  • The agreements provide a stable and transparent framework to help producers of goods and services, exporters and importers conduct their business.

  • It also administers an independent dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants' adherence to WTO agreements and resolving trade-related disputes.

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