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The Role World Trade Organization; should we still hope?

With the emergence of globalization, there have been several issues faced by almost every country, particularly developing states. The issues like trade dumping, tariffs, restrictions or setting import quotas have been common amongst all. These issues compelled the world leaders to form an organization to deal. As a result, the World Trade Organization was formed in 1995.  

 

The Role

The role of WTO is to ensure free -trade and minimize trade barriers among countries. Furthermore, the Article III of the agreement of establishing WTO clarifies the major roles of this organization; 

  1. Providing a platform to member states to develop their multilateral trade relations. 
  2. Dispute settlement under the light of predetermined rules and regulations by the organization.
  3. Providing technical and financial assistance to developing countries to grow their economies.
  4. Cooperating with other international organizations like, IMF, World Bank etc. 
  5. Ensure trade liberalization by giving import and export quotas and monitoring trade dumping (exporting the goods at lower value compared to domestic market).

Criticism

 It is well known to everyone that WTO has been advocating trade-liberalism and globalization. There are several established policies and procedures adhered by 164 members. Despite their sincere efforts to resolve trade problems, it seems everything going out of their hands.

History proves that Doha Rounds; organized by WTO to increase GDP of the developing world in 2001, failed due to pressure from the EU and USA (Amadeo, 2019). Similarly, the ongoing US-China trade war has been left untouched despite several proceedings. US imposed tariffs on $550B consumer products and in retaliation china tariffed $155B US products. Major developed countries like Japan, Canada and the UK are now opting for protectionism. As a result, there will be increased poverty in the developing world. Humankind will suffer a lot from the current vulnerable situation. 

In addition to it, the developing states are providing heavy subsidies to their farmers and cottage industries, which is strictly prohibited by WTO. Since, the exports in developing countries are majorly dependent on agriculture, but the subsidies given by developed countries to their farmers is harming their exports a lot. As a result, the developing countries are caught in a trap with no possible way to come out. 

Therefore it is again the responsibility of the WTO to ensure competition in the market and enable the developing world to export more. But, unfortunately it is unable to fulfil its role in this case as well. 

Some of the critics argue that the major reason behind WTO’s under-performance is the pressure from the developed world, especially the leading economies. 

Suggestions and Conclusion

Hence, it is the responsibility of educated youth and literate class to support the policies of WTO and start social campaigns to spread awareness and importance of WTO among the society. Because, the future of earth lies in the hands of youth. A civilized, literate, energetic and organized youth can change the world. 

 

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