What does the WTO do?
Credit: FABRICE COFFRINI AFP Getty Images
Q:

What does the WTO do?

A:

Quick Answer

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international entity to oversee trade between nations. The WTO helps negotiate and draft trade agreements that are recognized by the majority of trading nations.

  Know More

Full Answer

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the WTO and its 159 member nations represent about 97 percent of the world's trade of goods and services. In an effort to stimulate the global economy, the WTO works to reduce tariffs. Supporters of the WTO say nations that rely heavily on free trade for their economic health benefit greatly from the organization's existence. Opponents say that the WTO only benefits wealthy nations and that smaller, poorer countries must compete in an unfair trade environment, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The WTO describes itself as a forum for governments to settle trade-related disputes and to negotiate agreements. Although the organization generally works to remove barriers to trade between nations, it sometimes supports such barriers. For example, it is in favor of obstacles to trade when they prevent the spread of disease or otherwise protect international consumers.

According to the WTO, it serves as a vehicle for helping to negotiate trade among conflicting interests through the development of detailed agreements.

Learn more about International Orgs
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the functions of the World Trade Organization?

    A:

    The main function of the World Trade Organization, or WTO, is ensuring that international trade flows as smoothly as possible in the multilateral trading system between its 157 member countries. The WTO is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do countries trade with each other?

    A:

    Because different nations have different natural resources and human capabilities, trade has become a popular method of allowing nations to get the products people need, such as when the United States exports goods like wheat and corn to Japan and imports goods like computers and cars from Japan. In this example, Japan and the U.S. engage in trade in order to sell the surplus of the things they make and gain access to the things they don't make, allowing for a balance of a wide range of goods rather than a surplus of just a few things.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are global trade patterns?

    A:

    Global trade patterns track ever-changing pathways in the exchange of capital, goods and services among nations. The decades leading up to 2014 saw the rise of regional trading blocs, reduced industry in many nations, the increased participation of former communist countries, and the rising stars of China and India.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did the slave trade affect Africa?

    A:

    Because of the high demands of the transatlantic slave trade, African coastal nations warred against nations on the interior for the sake of capturing humans. Over time, this devastated much of Africa, weakening once-wealthy nations and plunging the entire continent into easily exploited chaos.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore