The world trade organization, WTO, is an organization created to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced in January 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement replacing the general agreement on tariffs and trade, GATT, which had been in operation since 1948. the head quarters of the WTO is located in genera. The WTO deals with regulations of trade between participating countries. It provides a framework for negotiation  and  formalization of trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants adherence to agreements which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations and agreements.

            Since 2001, the WTO has been working on a new trade negotiation agreement called the “Doha development Agenda”. The aim in the enhance equitable participation of power countries which represent a majority of the world’s population the WTO has 153 members representing more than 97% of total world trade and 30 observers, most of them seeking membership the WTO is governed wader the following arrangement.
1.         A ministerial conference, which meets every two years.
2.         A general council which implements the conferences’ policy decisions and is responsible for day to day administration.
3.         A director-general who is appointed by the ministerial conference.

BRIEF HISTORY: GATT, which preceded the WTO, was established after world war II in the wake of other new multilateral institutions dedicated to international economic co-operation notably the bretten woods institutions known as the world bank and the IMF. An international institution for trade named international trade organization was set up as a UN specialized agency to address trade barriers and other issues indirectly related to trade including employment, investment, restrictive business practices and commodity agreements. The ITO however was not approved by the US and some other signatories which led to the collapse of the ITO. GATT remained the only multilateral instrument governing international trade from 1948 till the establishment of the WTO in 1995. despite attempts in the mid 1950’s and 1960s to create some form of institutional mechanism for international trade, GATT continued to operate for almost half a century to operate for almost half a century as a semi institutionalized multi-lateral treaty regime on a provisional basis. The GATT regime still exists as the WTO’s umbrella treaty for trade agreements as updated by the Uruguay rounds negotiations of 1994. in the final act of Marrakerh, a log list of agreements, annexes,  decisions and understandings were adopted. The agreements fall into six main parts.
1.         The agreement establishing the WTO
2.         The multi-lateral agreements on trade in goods and related investment measures.
3.         The general agreement on trade in services
4.         The agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights
5.         Dispute settlement
6.         Review of government trade policies

Functions of the WTO among the various functions of the WTO, these are regarded by experts as the most important.
1.         It overseas the implementation, administration and co-operations of the agreements covered above
2.         It provides a forum for negotiations and for the settlement of disputes
3.         It is the duty of the WTO to review and propagate the national trade policies and to ensure the coherence and transparency of trade policies through surveillance in global economic policy making.
4.         The assistance of developing least developed and low income countries in transition to adjust to WTO rules and disciplines through technical coroperation and training.
5.         The WTO is also centre of economic research and analysis regular assessments of the global trade picture in its annual publications and research findings on specific topics are produced by the organization.
6.         The WTO co-operates closely with the two other components of the Brethen woods system, the IMF and the World Bank.

The WTO established a framework for trade policies. It does not define or specify outcomes. It is concerned with setting the rules of the trade policy fames. Five principled of participation important in understanding both pre-1994 GATT and the WTO are:
1.         Non- discrimination- it has two major component, the most favoured nation rule (MEN) and the national treatment policy. Both are embedded in the main WTO rules on goods, services and intellectual property, but their precise scope and nature differ across these means. The MFN rule requires that a WTO member must apply the same conditions on all trade relationship with other WTO members.
2.         Reciprocity- it reflects both a desire to limit the scope of fee-riding their may arise because of MFN rules and a desire to obtain better access to foreign markets.
3.         Binding and enforceable commitments- the tariff commitments made by WTO members in a multi lateral trade negotiation and on concessional baris are enumerated in a schedule of concessions
4.         Transparency: the WTO members are required to pubcira their trade regulations, to maintain institutions allowing for the review of administrative divisions affecting trade to respond to requests for information by other, members and to notify changes in trade policies to the WTO . the organizations system tries also to improve predictability and stability, discourage quotes and other measures used to set limits on quantities of imports.
5.         Safety values- in specific circumstance, governments are able to restrict trade. There are three types of provision in their direction.
a.         articles allowing for the use of trade measures to attain no-economic objectives.
b.         art aimed at ensuring fair competition and
c.         Provisions permitting intervention in trade for economic reasons.
Exceptions to the MFN principle also allow preferential treatment of developing countries, regional free trade areas and customs unions.
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