Developing Tag in World Trade Organization

  • Category
    India & world
  • Published
    27th Aug, 2019

Context

US President Donald Trump has questioned ‘Developing Tag’ for India and China.

About

World Trade Organization (WTO)

  • It is a successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established in the wake of the Second World War.
  • Several rounds of negotiations were held under GATT.
  • WTO came into existence in Uruguay Rounds of 1986-1994 through Marrakesh Agreement in 1995.
  • Members – 164 and together, they constitute 98% of the global trade
  • In 2000, 4th WTO Ministerial led to a new round of negotiation, Doha Development Agenda, which is still in progress.
  • Mandate – to open trade for the benefit for all
  • All decisions are made by consensus.
  • WTO Headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. It has no other branch office.
  • Ministerial Conference is WTO’s top level decision making body. It meets once in two years.
  • WTO Agreements
    • For Goods – Marrakesh Agreement (1995) and Trade Facilitation Agreement ( 2017)
    • For Services – General Agreement on Trade in Services
    • For Intellectual Property - The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
  • Functions
    • Administering WTO Trade Agreement
    • Act as forum for trade negotiation
    • Handling trade disputes
    • Monitoring trade policies
    • Cooperation with other international organization

Criteria for Developing, Developed and Least Developed Countries

  • There are no WTO definitions of “developed” and “developing” countries.
  • Members announce for themselves whether they are “developed” or “developing” countries.
  • However, other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries.

     

Advantages for Developing Members:

The special provisions include:

  • longer time periods for implementing Agreements and commitments,
  • measures to increase trading opportunities for developing countries,
  • provisions requiring all WTO members to safeguard the trade interests of developing countries,
  • support to help developing countries build the capacity to carry out WTO work, handle disputes, and implement technical standards, and
  • Provisions related to least-developed country (LDC) Members.
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