The World Trade Organization (WTO) has been a significant player in global trade since its establishment in 1995. The WTO`s primary objective is to create a level playing field for international trade by ensuring that its member countries adhere to agreed-upon rules and regulations. The WTO has helped to build a freer and more predictable trading system by providing a framework for negotiating and implementing trade agreements.
In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the major agreements of the WTO.
1. Agreement on Agriculture:
The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of trade talks, and it came into effect in 1995. The agreement aims to liberalize the trade in agricultural products by reducing subsidies and protectionism. The AoA also addresses issues such as market access, export subsidies, and domestic support for agricultural products.
2. Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights:
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is a comprehensive agreement that sets out the minimum standards for intellectual property protection in global trade. TRIPS covers a wide range of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The agreement aims to promote innovation and creativity by protecting the rights of inventors, creators, and producers.
3. General Agreement on Trade in Services:
The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is a multilateral agreement that aims to liberalize trade in services among the WTO member countries. The agreement covers a wide range of services, including banking, telecommunications, healthcare, and transportation. The GATS aims to promote a level playing field for service providers across the world by establishing a set of rules and regulations for trade in services.
4. Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade:
The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures do not create unnecessary barriers to trade between WTO member countries. The TBT establishes a set of rules and principles for the development, adoption, and implementation of technical regulations and standards.
5. Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures:
The Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) aims to protect human, animal, and plant health by establishing guidelines for the development and implementation of food safety and animal and plant health measures. The SPS requires WTO member countries to base their measures on scientific evidence and to avoid using these measures as disguised trade barriers.
In conclusion, the WTO has played a significant role in promoting global trade by negotiating and implementing trade agreements. The agreements discussed above are just some of the major ones that have been negotiated under the auspices of the WTO. By adhering to these agreements, countries can create a more open, predictable, and fair global trading system.