WTO and International Trade1.0 IntroductionThe World Trade Organization (WTO) was founded in 1995 after several talks in Uruguay. It followed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that came into existence in 1948 with the intention to reduce trade barrier in the international market. WTO has a greater scope of operations which include agriculture, intellectual property, services and trade in goods. WTO’s primary goal is to enhance free trade through well established rules that govern international trade (Emerson, 2011). Unfortunately the body has been faced with a lot of controversy as it is seen to be controlled by the interests of the rich countries, thus receiving a lot of criticism. 2.0 WTO PrinciplesAccording to Emerson, (2011), WTO is guided by a number of principles as it carries out its mandate in the international trade.
The principle of non discrimination states that both the foreign and national companies are to be treated equally, and it is not acceptable to favor domestic companies and undermine foreign companies. Another principle is reciprocity where all nations are required to offer similar concessions for all participants in international trade.
The principle of Transparency under WTO provides that all processes and negotiations in the trade must be seen to be open and fair by nations with equal rules for all. WTO is also guided by the principle of Special treatment. This principle appreciates the fact that developing countries may need differential treatment due to historic imbalances in trade. 3.0 Challenges faced by WTOWith the existence of the above principles, it is certain that most nations in the world believe that they commitment to the WTO. However, WTO has been criticized by several groups for various things, and this is challenging to the body.
WTO is criticized for being welcoming to only large corporations, and failing to promote adequate public participation in matters of international trade. Some nations have laws on safety and protection of their nationals’ health, economies and environments which are considered to be barriers to free international trade (Emerson, 2011). This is a contradiction to the principle of equality and non discrimination in international trade. Several countries criticized WTO arguing that there need to be enough co-operations between the rich and developing nations as they participate in the international trade. 4.0 Government involvement in International tradeThe rules of WTO acknowledge the need to increase freedom of international trade through well established trade agreements.
National governments enter into trade agreements that fall within the benchmarks set by the WTO. Government transparency has led to improvement in the agenda of economic reform in nations, and most of it concerns unilateral trade liberalization. There is increased need for governments to participate in negotiations related to regional trade agreements (Cooper, 2010).
The council of Australian Governments facilitates cooperation, consultation and coordination of policy between territories and states in order to avoid the likely inconsistencies as far as international trade is concerned. 4.1 Trade policy formulationDifferent nations have well established trade policy formulations mechanisms which comprise of the executive body of government, business consultants, non-governmental organizations, advisory bodies, and relevant stakeholders. The Foreign Affairs department are responsible for signing international treaties that involve trade policies and agreements, commodity negotiations, international trade, and trade promotion. The government has consultative mechanisms that advices her on investment issues and international trade (Cooper, 2010).
In Australia, the Export Advisory Panel was formed to facilitate the advantages of free trade agreements. It does this by advising on how to implement access to international markets, and identifying potential investment opportunities which arise from trade agreements. The government uses its taskforces to make inquiries on issues related to international business in order to avoid uncertainties. Government transparency has greatly promoted economic reforms, and contributed to the continuation of international business relations among nations, who operate under the rules of WTO.