• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How successful has the WTO been in achieving it’s objectives?

Extracts from this document...


How successful has the WTO been in achieving it's objectives? / Ben Weland / 13/10/2002 The World Trade Organisation (WTO) was founded in 1995 and resulted from a series of General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade, which started after the Second World War in 1947. The WTO is the first global, constantly operating organisation responsible for the promotion of free trade and the settlement of possible trade disputes through independent disputes panels. A WTO ruling has to be accepted by a member state, otherwise the respective country may face trade sanctions. Major decisions are made on a basis of unanimity in the trade rounds, the most recent one happening in Doha, Quatar. This essay should clarify what the WTO's five main objectives are and to what extent they have been achieved in recent years. Establishing and promoting free global trade is seen by many as the main objective of the WTO. It is the orthodoxy of the time that free trade is the economic policy most economic thinkers believe in, especially because empirical evidence seems to support the argument. Mercantilism, with it's main idea that wealth is finite and should therefore be kept in the country by encouraging exports and stopping imports, has long gone out of fashion. ...read more.


Now, as soon as there is a trading conflict between two blocks, it may directly affect dozens of countries instead of only two, therefore negatives effects are likely to be exacerbated. On the other hand, the pressure to avoid trade wars has increased, as politicians try to avoid these potentially more harming wars at all cost. Therefore, in conclusion, the WTO has not yet reached the objective of equal expansion of trade concessions to all countries, as concessions now mainly happen within the major trading blocks. However, it could save administrative cost if the WTO managed to convince a whole block to lower it's tariffs to the outside world, but the problem is that individual countries still retain a lot of independence within a trading area, therefore the theoretical block acting may actually not happen in reality. However, if a block is as strongly linked as for instance the EU, it may be difficult for a single country to make independent decisions. In conclusion, this objective is far from fulfilled, especially developing countries outside major trading blocks are discriminated against. The issue of developing economies is a crucial one in the WTO anyway. Another objective, making trade fair by establishing rules which count for everyone is especially related to that. ...read more.


Though the environment may be one of the WTO's objectives, it is clear that the focus lies elsewhere, therefore it cannot be counted for or against the WTO's achievements so far, as not enough data is available on that issue. In conclusion, the WTO has been fairly successful in achieving it's main objective, the promotion of free trade, as the current popularity of the WTO shows (many countries want to join). However, though a lot has been achieved, the fight for free trade is far from over. Developing economies complained that subsidies and tariffs were not reduced enough in the Uruguay round, whilst that was demanded from them. There is still the danger of exploitation of developing countries, this has to be prevented. Also, there is the danger of complacency, as much has been achieved, politicians do not see the need for further reductions or they fear employment losses, therefore there are already signs of some reversal of tariff reduction policies (the USA has just passed a farm bill supporting it's farmers, though still within WTO regulations a harming measure to free trade). The WTO must not stop it's reforms, a lot of problems for the developing countries result from high tariffs, only if tariffs and subsidies are reduced everywhere in the world, not only within trading blocks, can the WTO's objectives be considered as sufficiently fulfilled. Ben Weland ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

5 star(s)

This is an excellent analysis of the work of the WTO and evaluation of its success. The writer uses many relevant examples to support their point and the essay is well structured.

Marked by teacher Dennis Salter 17/09/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level UK, European & Global Economics essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Assess the importance of international trade to the UK economy

    4 star(s)

    when it was responsible for over 25% of the world's imports and exports of goods and services, but this declining share has only occurred as a result of the immense expansion in world trade over the years. The amount of goods and services exported by the UK economy remains on an even increasing trend.

  2. Is the United Nations a success or failure?

    For instance, where the LON had no army of it's own, the UN hoped to have armed forces permanently at it's disposal, but infact it has never had the armed forces at its disposal that it wanted. (Number 1 failure).

  1. Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye have described international relations as exhibiting 'complex interdependence'. What ...

    There are three types of information usage in complex interdependence, free information, commercial information, and strategic information. Each can be manipulated by states to form an asymmetrical relationship with another state. Information's major role in the contemporary world arena is to decentralize as it reduces costs, economies of scale and barriers to entry.

  2. The positive and negative effects of Globalization

    Corbidge discusses how the concept of globalization has increased recognition alongside processes of deterritralization, the flow of capital and technology across national boundaries reduces the importance of national space in economic decision making. This change in power structure means that multinational companies are now able to transcend traditional regulatory boundaries set by the nation states.

  1. Problems of intervention in the market for Cocoa

    Another reason they may dominate the market for chocolate confectionery is that many retailers are more willing to stock better, more popular brands such as nestle and Cadbury meaning a greater demand for their produce and therefore they require more chocolate confectionery for their goods.

  2. Feminist approaches to the study of international relations theory

    It should also be noted that feminists in peace research had already mounted a challenge to bias in their field at the 1975 International Peace Research Association conference, where they highlighted gender as a variable in structure violence. They worked to bring feminist perspectives to bear on issues of peace, conflict, and war as early as the 1960's.

  1. Many examples of Companies working globally are: Nike, Adidas and other companies which may ...

    To clarify the link is for example, if jeans were made in Africa and bought in the USA there is a link between the people who bought it and Africa. This is globalisation. Nike has various factories all over the world and Nike goods can be made almost anywhere.

  2. Why was Britain the First Industrial Nation?

    This population increase was mainly in the middle and working class people, probably due to the rising medical knowledge, and the fact that more hospitals were set up, consequently decreasing the death rate. Many historians argue that when the population began to expand, after 1750 it provided the critical ingredient necessary to trigger off industrialisation.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work