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The World Trade Organization

wtoPicture Credit: The World Trade Organisation

The World Trade Organization was founded in 1995 to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This multilateral organization aims to lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers to increase international trade. The 146 member states meet in ministerial sessions at least once every two years. NGOs and poor countries fear that further liberalization of trade will only benefit rich countries. WTO negotiations favor the interests of corporate investors and neglect agricultural protectionism and trade subsidies by rich countries. Critics often charge that the WTO functions undemocratically and that it has opaque negotiation procedures that harm the interest of the poor. In the summer of 2006, five years of Doha Round negotiations ended without any agreement, leading many observers to question whether the WTO continues to be relevant in the absence of rich country trade concessions.

The World Trade Organization | WTO Ministerial Conferences

The World Trade Organization


General Analysis of the World Trade Organization

This page provides a general analysis of the World Trade Organization.

International Trade and Development

This page provides information on the challenges of making trade contribute to development.

Agricultural Subsidies

This page provides articles and papers on agricultural subsidies and how they obstruct development.

Genetically Modified Organisms

This page posts information on GMOs.

NGOs and the World Trade Organization

This page provides information on the role of NGOs in challenging WTO policies and lack of accountability.

China and the WTO: Issues and Debates

This page followed the debates and proceedings over China's bid to join the WTO.

Links and Resources on the World Trade Organization

This page provides links and resources for more information on the World Trade Organization.


WTO Ministerial Conferences


Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference: Hong Kong 2005

This page posts articles and analyses on the 6th Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in 2005.

Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference: Cancun 2003

This page posts articles and analyses on the 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico in 2003.

Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference: Doha 2001

This page posts articles and analyses on the 4th Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar in 2001.

Third WTO Ministerial Conference: Seattle 1999

This page posts articles and analyses on the 3rd Ministerial Conference in Seattle, US in 1999.

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