World Trade Organization facts for kids
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a large international organization to regulate trade that was established in 1995. As of 15 December, 2005, there were 153 member countries. In the WTO, agreements are made on trade between countries. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) means that countries have to lower barriers to international trade, such as tariff on goods crossing borders. This lets businesses operate in many different countries.
Member countries sign agreements
There are about 30 such agreements. Based on these agreements, the member countries trade with each other. They sell items to each other and follow a set of rules. They have to give a special job to the other country. The phrase used (for such and many alike items) is to give the other country a special job – this is known as to give the other country a most favored country job. From 2004, if a member sells any item to another member country, the same type of item should be offered to all other member countries.
While it is highly regarded, from its beginning the WTO has also received criticism.
Images for kids
The economists Harry White (left) and John Maynard Keynes at the Bretton Woods Conference. Both had been strong advocates of a central-controlled international trade environment and recommended the establishment of three institutions: the IMF (for fiscal and monetary issues); the World Bank (for financial and structural issues); and the ITO (for international economic cooperation).
During the Doha Round, the US government blamed Brazil and India for being inflexible and the EU for impeding agricultural imports. The then-President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (above right), responded to the criticisms by arguing that progress would only be achieved if the richest countries (especially the US and countries in the EU) made deeper cuts in agricultural subsidies and further opened their markets for agricultural goods.
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