World Trade Organization

What You Need to Know

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade. The WTO was officially organized on January 1, 1995 with 123 nations signing on as original members. The WTO deals with the regulation of trade between the member nations by providing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and providing a dispute resolution process whose purpose is to enforce all partners to adhere to the WTO agreements. Most of the issues that the WTO focuses on derive from previous trade negotiations.

The current negotiations under the jurisdiction of the WTO is called the Doha Round, which was begun in 2001 with a stated focus on developing countries. The Doha Round is not yet complete. A trade facilitation agreement, the Bali Package, was completed in December 2013. It was the first comprehensive agreement in the organizations history.

The WTO is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Currently, there are 164 member nations. Roverto Azevedo is the current Director-General.

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