Research Proposal: Role Does the World Trade Organization (WTO)

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¶ … role does the World Trade Organization (WTO) play in the international business arena? Is the WTO helpful to international trade or is it a hindrance? Why?

The World Trade Organization is one of the most powerful, but also one of the most controversial international bodies, regulating and negotiating international trade. Although it presents itself as a neutral body, its self-description is a powerful illustration of the fact that there is no truly neutral governing body when it comes to the economy. The WTO says, on its webpage that it is merely an "organization for liberalizing trade. it's a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements. it's a place for them to settle trade disputes. It operates a system of trade rules" ("What is the World Trade Organization," WTO, 2009). By making liberalization of trade its focus, many of its critics argue, there is an almost automatic bias in favor of a kind of liberal, anti-protectionist capitalism that privileges the developed nations of the world at the expense of developing nations.

"Where countries have faced trade barriers and wanted them lowered, the negotiations have helped to liberalize trade," the WTO states and it has intervened vigorously, although it does quickly add that it does not favor liberalized trade relationships in every instance ("What is the World Trade Organization," WTO, 2009). But making trade flow freely, with as few barriers as possible, is the stress of the organization -- promoting free competition, eliminating protective barriers, creating binding and predictable free trade agreements between nations, and even creating the appearance of parity when domestic and foreign goods compete in the marketplace all form the focus of the WTO. This may favor more established, stronger economies, at the expense of nations still struggling to find their foothold in the new, globalized world of trade.

The WTO enforces its philosophy through a series of "agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk" of the world's trading nations, and "these documents provide the legal ground-rules for international commerce. They are essentially contracts, binding governments to keep their trade policies within agreed limits" ("What is the World Trade Organization," WTO, 2009). 'Limits' of freedom, in most cases. Thus such agreements are not without controversy. For example, one perpetually controversial arena is the status of GMO foods (Genetically modified organisms) that are opposed as dangerous by many European consumers but which are regarded as safe… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Role Does the World Trade Organization (WTO).  (2009, August 7).  Retrieved May 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/role-world-trade-organization-wto/2478

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"Role Does the World Trade Organization (WTO)."  Essaytown.com.  August 7, 2009.  Accessed May 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/role-world-trade-organization-wto/2478.