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World Trade Organization(WTO)

Overview

World Trade Organization is an organization to negotiate trade agreements and settle trade disputes in accordance with relevant rules. The official working languages of the WTO Secretariat are English, French and Spanish and its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland. As of 2020, Secretary General and about 600 staff members are employed. The Secretariat receives fund and contributions from its Members to support its activities. The WTO’s budget for 2020 is CHF 197,203,900. Korea’s annual contribution to the WTO is roughly 197 million Swiss francs, accounting for 2.90% of the total. Members- Afghanistan became 164th WTO member on 29 July 2016. The total number of member countries is 164 as of today. Decision making- The WTO is operated by governments around the world. The topmost decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference and major decisions are made by ambassadors or delegation from member countries. Korea & WTO- The Republic of Korea has been a member of GATT since April 1967 and a WTO member since 1 January 1995. Currently, 4 staff members from the Republic of Korea are working at the WTO.

GATT & WTO

The GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) held eight rounds in total after the Second World War and the last one was Uruguay Round. WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995,replacing GATT, and establishes strong and prosperous multilateral tra

Classification
Year Round Agenda Contracting
1st(1947) Geneva Round Customs 23
2nd(1949) Annecy Round Customs 32
3rd(1950) Torquay Round Customs 34
4th(1956) Geneva Round Customs 22
5th(1960-1961) Dillon Round Customs 23
6th(1963-1967) Kennedy Round Customs, Anti-dumping measures 46
7th(1973-1979) Tokyo Round Customs, not-tariff measures, Main agreements 99
8th(1986-1994) Uruguay Round Customs, not-tariff measures, Requlatio, Service, IPR, Rosolving Conflict. Fabric, Agriculture, Establishment of WTO 125
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

Clearance procedures and simplification and harmonization of international trade procedures

  • At the ninth WTO Ministerial Conference held in December 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, WTO Members concluded negotiation on TFA, which entered into force on 22 February 2017 following its ratification by two-thirds of the WTO membership.
  • TFA has its preamble and three sections

     
Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)
Composition Content
Preamble Legal validity of agreement, Principles to support LDCs
Section I Expediting the movement, release and clearance goods, including goods in transit Clarification of the relevant articles(V,VIII and X) of the GATT 1994.
Section II Special and differential treatment for LDCs
Section III Establichment of a permanent committee on trade facilitaion at the WTO

WTO Website