WTO: The Multi-Dimensional World and Conflicts - Seeker's Thoughts

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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

WTO: The Multi-Dimensional World and Conflicts

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Introduction: Economic protectionism was considered as the major reason for the world war 2nd. Later on for preventing such scenarios the trade was promoted through General agreement on trade and tariffs or GATT since 1948.
A series of events took place and eventually in 1994, 123 nations signed the Marrakesh Treaty replacing the GATT. The GATT was to be replaced by WTO. Formally WTO was established in 1995 in Genewa, Switzerland. The aim is to regulate, and liberalize the world trade. In that very particular year of 1994, US and EU brought agriculture under WTO. 
Agriculture and World Trade- Agriculture since its beginning could not be completely liberalized. Especially after food riots of 2008. The gap between northern southern countries has grown wider as well as the conflict between developed and developing nations also.
Unsuccessful Meetings- There have been series of unsuccessful meetings like Seattle meeting in 1999, Cancun Summit in 2003 and the most recent Buenos Aries in 2017.
Countries like US are unclear on their stance and stubbornly oppose to negotiate “Doha Development Agenda’ and country like India also refused to negotiate and did not sign the Women and trade pact. India supported gender equality yet India abstained from signing the pact as India was concerned that signing the clause will further reduce the trade done by India.
Negotiations have been on stalled and regular work program has become more like a business and dispute settlement system is also under stress.
A way ahead- Globalization and trade has helped the world to come out of poverty and hunger. The trade is important to keep the peace in the world. WTO needs to have negotiations which end successfully and regular work progress should happen. The dispute settlement body should not be under pressure either.
There is a great need to lead the negotiation and show the path to the world as once US did.



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