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The official failure of the Doha Round, initiated in 2001 within the World Trade Organization, has been a brake on multilateral trading system. Thus, the WTO has 150 members since the entry of Vietnam in 2005 (i.e. ¾ of the country), and seems traversed by the disadvantages due to its appeal. The more members there are, the more the consensus seems elusive. But where is the WTO located, and what does it really do?

WTO was created in 1995 by the Marrakesh agreements under the Uruguay Round (the longest ever known: 1986-1994). The trading system has still older roots. In fact, the GATT (General Agreement for Tariffs and Trade) in 1948 had previously established rules of the system by establishing an informal international organization.

However, unlike the GATT, the WTO has an institutional status (i.e. a treaty) and with more prerogatives. The agreements are not only for goods, but also for services, and intellectual property. Its primary objective is to liberalize trade by removing barriers to trade (protectionist barriers in particular) in a multilateral negotiation.

Moreover, the WTO has a dispute settlement body (DSB), which allows members to obtain a neutral assessment on trade disputes between them. The successive failures of the organization (Cancun, Doha) and the emergence of new trends (regionalism, preferential agreements) makes one wonder about the outcome of the WTO.

Thus, the interest here is in the contributions and shortcomings of the WTO, as well as the various challenges and avenues for reforms that are envisaged. To what extent is the WTO, a symbol of multilateralism? Does it reply adequately to the current requirements of international trade? While the WTO is imperfect as a regulator of international trade, it is also crossed by new challenges that call for reforms.

In the WTO, it is there to discuss the rules structuring international trade together to ensure trade liberalization. The other major trend is the development stated in the South.

The classical theories, which has already been talked about, shows the interest of free trade, especially with the theorem of income equality. Indeed according to this theorem, the total free trade is a substitute for factor mobility and leads to the equalization of income between countries and thus determines the catch of the South.

Tags: OMC-assessment; WTO role; international trade

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