Information about the organization
THE 10 BENEFITS: 2. Disputes
2. The system allows disputes to be handled constructively

As trade expands in volume, in the number of products traded, and in the numbers of countries and companies trading, there is a greater chance that disputes will arise. The WTO system helps resolve these disputes peacefully and constructively.


THE 10 BENEFITS
1. Peace
2. Disputes
3. Rules
4.
Cost of living
5.
Choice
6.
Incomes
7.
Growth and jobs
8.
Efficiency
9.
Lobbying
10.
Good government
  

See also:
The WTO in Brief
10 misunderstandings
Understanding the WTO


Countries in dispute always aim to conform with the agreements

 

 

 

 

 

Countries in dispute always aim to conform with the agreements

 

There could be a down side to trade liberalization and expansion. More trade means more possibilities for disputes to arise. Left to themselves, those disputes could lead to serious conflict. But in reality, a lot of international trade tension is reduced because countries can turn to organizations, in particular the WTO, to settle their trade disputes.

Before World War 2 that option was not available. After the war, the world’s community of trading nations negotiated trade rules which are now entrusted to the WTO. Those rules include an obligation for members to bring their disputes to the WTO and not to act unilaterally.

When they bring disputes to the WTO, the WTO’s procedure focuses their attention on the rules. Once a ruling has been made, countries concentrate on trying to comply with the rules, and perhaps later renegotiating the rules — not on declaring war on each other.

Around 300 disputes have been brought to the WTO since it was set up in 1995. Without a means of tackling these constructively and harmoniously, some could have led to more serious political conflict.

The fact that the disputes are based on WTO agreements means that there is a clear basis for judging who is right or wrong. Once the judgement has been made, the agreements provide the focus for any further actions that need to be taken.

The increasing number of disputes brought to GATT and its successor, the WTO, does not reflect increasing tension in the world. Rather, it reflects the closer economic ties throughout the world, the GATT/WTO’s expanding membership and the fact that countries have faith in the system to solve their differences.

Sometimes the exchanges between the countries in conflict can be acrimonious, but they always aim to conform with the agreements and commitments that they themselves negotiated.

 
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