All WTO Agreements: A Comprehensive Guide
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization that oversees and regulates global trade. It was created to promote free trade and remove barriers to international commerce. The WTO has a number of agreements that govern international trade, all of which are designed to facilitate the smooth flow of goods and services across borders. In this article, we`ll take a comprehensive look at all the WTO agreements and what they mean for global trade.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
The GATT is the foundation of the WTO. It was signed in 1947 and replaced in 1994 by the WTO. The GATT established a framework for the reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers between nations. Its goal was to promote free trade and create a level playing field for international commerce.
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
The TRIPS agreement was established in 1995 and sets the minimum standards for protecting intellectual property rights, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks. This agreement aims to balance the interests of intellectual property holders with the need for access to affordable medicines and technology.
The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)
The SPS agreement aims to protect human, animal, and plant health from potential hazards that can arise from international trade. It establishes guidelines for the use of measures that protect against the spread of animal and plant diseases, as well as the use of pesticides and other chemicals.
The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)
The TBT agreement sets standards for technical regulations, such as safety standards for products or packaging requirements. The goal is to prevent such regulations from becoming trade barriers and to ensure that technical regulations are transparent and non-discriminatory.
The Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
The GPA aims to create a level playing field for domestic and foreign suppliers in government procurement. It establishes rules for the procurement of goods and services by government agencies, reducing the potential for corruption and favoritism.
The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM)
The SCM agreement aims to prevent governments from providing unfair subsidies to domestic industries that could give them an advantage over foreign competitors. It also establishes rules for countervailing measures, such as tariffs, that can be used to counter the effects of unfair subsidies.
The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
The GATS is an agreement that aims to create a framework for the liberalization of trade in services between nations. It establishes rules for the access of foreign service providers to domestic markets, promoting competition and efficiency in service provision.
The Agreement on Agriculture
The Agreement on Agriculture is an agreement that aims to reduce barriers to trade in agricultural products. It establishes rules for the use of subsidies, tariffs, and other trade measures, promoting fair competition in agricultural markets.
The WTO agreements cover a wide range of issues and aim to promote free and fair trade between nations. They establish rules for the reduction of trade barriers, the protection of intellectual property rights, the use of measures to protect human and animal health, and the promotion of fair competition. While the agreements have their critics, they form the basis of a global trading system that has helped to drive economic growth and reduce poverty around the world. As such, they remain an important part of the global economy.