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The World Trade Organization (WTO) is one of the most important international organizations in existence today. It contains a set of disciplines that affect the ability of governments to impose trade restrictions, and has helped to support the steady expansion of international trade since the 1950s. It is a unique organization in providing a framework for member states to make binding policy commitments that are enforced through a unique dispute settlement system and a variety of transparency mechanisms.
Despite – or because of – its success, the WTO has recently become the focus of vociferous protests by anti-globalization activists. This book separates the facts from the propaganda and provides an accessible overview of the WTO's history, structure and policies as well as a discussion of the future of the organization. It also confronts the criticisms of the WTO and assesses their validity.
Introduction 1. A Brief History of the World Trading System 2. The WTO in a Nutshell 3. The GATT 4. Services and Intellectual Property 5. Dispute Settlement, Transparency and Plurilateral Agreements 6. Developing Countries and the WTO 7. Whither the Trading System after Doha: Deadlock as an Opportunity?