Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization . .


The Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international treaty that serves as the foundation for the functioning of the WTO. It was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, which took place from 1986 to 1994, and came into effect on January 1, 1995.

The agreement outlines the rules and principles governing international trade among WTO member countries. Its primary objective is to promote and facilitate the smooth flow of trade across national borders, while ensuring fairness, predictability, and transparency in global trade relations. The key principles of the WTO Agreement include:

  1. Most-Favored-Nation (MFN) Treatment: Members are required to extend the same trade advantages and benefits to all other WTO members, ensuring non-discrimination in trade.
  2. National Treatment: Members must treat foreign goods and services no less favorably than their own domestically produced goods and services.
  3. Tariffs and Trade Barriers: The agreement aims to reduce and eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade through negotiations and mutually agreed-upon commitments.
  4. Dispute Settlement: The WTO provides a framework for resolving trade disputes among member countries through a structured and impartial dispute settlement process.
  5. Trade in Goods: The agreement covers trade in goods, including provisions related to customs procedures, product standards, health and safety regulations, and technical barriers to trade.
  6. Trade in Services: The agreement includes rules for trade in services, promoting liberalization and market access in various service sectors.
  7. Intellectual Property Rights: The WTO Agreement includes provisions for the protection of intellectual property rights, promoting innovation and creativity in trade.
  8. Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs): The agreement seeks to eliminate trade-restrictive investment measures that could distort international trade.
  9. Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS): This agreement specifically focuses on intellectual property rights, ensuring that member countries have minimum standards of protection and enforcement in place.
  10. Trade and Environment: The agreement recognizes the importance of sustainable development and provides a framework for addressing trade and environmental concerns.

These are just some of the key aspects covered by the Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization. The WTO continues to play a central role in global trade governance, providing a forum for negotiations, promoting the smooth functioning of international trade, and resolving trade disputes among its member countries.

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