The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on January 1, 1995 and is the most powerful trade body in the world. It has 133 member nations and 33 nations with observer status who have applied for membership. (Americanlands) On behalf of its members the WTO "promotes, monitors and adjudicates international trade" (Goldstein 378) in order to establish a free trade system. It covers every field of economic and social endeavors, including: textiles, agriculture, clothing, telecommunications, banking, government purchases, food sanitation regulations, services, industrial standards and intellectual property. (Americanlands) Although this organization is seemingly beneficial, like all organizations, there are people in the world who oppose it. The following are some of the negativities of the World Trade Organization.
The WTO serves only the interests of multinational corporations. It is not at all a democratic institution but its policies impact all of society. (globalexchange) The free-trade promoted by the WTO is really controlled and managed by corporations and financial institutions for their own benefit. (Meyer, Thomas) For example, the US Trade Representative relies on its 17 "Industry Sector Advisory Committees" for information on trade negotiations. This committee ignores input provided by citizens, who are a part of environmental, human rights, consumer and labor organizations. In addition, the meetings are held in secret and requests for information about these meetings are denied. (globalexchange)
The WTO is a stacked court. The organizations dispute panels, decide if domestic laws are "barriers to trade" and whether they should be abolished or not. These panels con...
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...the negative rulings have a very large negative effect on people and governments on a national level. In short what we have in the WTO is a global system of the multinationals, by the multinationals and for the multinationals.
Americanlands website. "One World, One Forest" The World Trade Organization. www.americanlands.org.
Globalexchange website. "10 reasons to oppose the WTO". www.globalexchange.com
Golstein, Josua. International Relations. 4thed. Longman, New York. 2001 pg 378-379
Meyer, Michael and Thomas, Jeffrey. The New Rules of Global Trade: A Guide to the World Trade Organization. Scarborough, Ontario. 1997
Sforza, Michelle and Wallach, Lori. January 200. "The Case Against The World Trade Organization". The Progressive Magazine.
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