WTO is member-driven
rules of the WTO system are agreements resulting from
negotiations among member governments,
rules are ratified by members parliaments, and
taken in the WTO are virtually all made by consensus
among all members.
other words, decisions taken in the WTO are negotiated, accountable and
only occasion when a WTO body can have a direct impact on a
government’s policies is when a dispute is brought to the WTO and if
that leads to a ruling by the Dispute Settlement Body (which consists of
all members). Normally the Dispute Settlement Body makes a ruling by
adopting the findings of a panel of experts or an appeal report.
then, the scope of the ruling is narrow: it is simply a judgement or
interpretation of whether a government has broken one of the WTO’s
agreements—agreements that the infringing government had itself
accepted. If a government has broken a commitment it has to conform.
all other respects, the WTO does not dictate to governments to adopt or
drop certain policies.
for the WTO Secretariat, it simply provides administrative and technical
support for the WTO and its members.
fact: it’s the governments who dictate to the WTO.