10 misthoughts about WTO
1. WTO dictates its policy
This thought seem to be a mistaken one, as all terms of the agreements signed between WTO member-states are thoroughly discussed in between.
2. WTO ignores the development by doing the trade and commerce of priority
One of the major purposes of creating the WTO was to reach for the stable development by liberalization of the commercial policy of WTO member-states. Despite that the reduced protection barriers and the improved trade between the member-states is one of the critical issues within WTO, one can hardly omit other important issues as stability, predictability and transparency of the commercial terms.
3. WTO is an “anti-green” organization
This misthought is based on another one stating that commercial interests prevail within WTYO and are beyond other issues of environmental protection.
In this regard one should remind an introductory part of the Marrakesh agreement on WTO creation, where the terms of achievement of WTO tasks are listed as reasonable use of world resources in accordance with the purpose of stable development and assistance in environmental protection and safety.
In addition, Article 20 of the General agreement on tariffs and commerce states that the states which participate in the said agreement shall be entitled to take measures to protect peoples’ lives and health as those of animals and plants as well as to preserve the used natural resources.
In addition to the above mentioned general principles there are some separate provisions within WTO agreements, considering individual and certain conditions. For example, allowance of subsidies in order to protect the environment. The issues of environment are considered by WTO agreements in particular by those to review standards to products, safety of food products and the protection of intellectual property rights.
4. WTO is a non-democratic organization
This opinion is also a mistaken one, as the decisions could only be made with complete consensus, i.e. with the consent of all and any participant. Moreover, basic rules of trade and commerce within WTO were considered and discussed and approved by not only the participants of the Uruguay round, but also by their parliaments.
5. Shut-down of plants and higher unemployment
WTO does not object from a risk of shut-down of some plants and the increased unemployment resulted from higher cheaper import. With this one should remember that mostly poor competitors could only be shut-down with products which could hardly compete with the goods as imported by its quality and price. Well, then is it worth while limiting the customers’ rights inside a country because of supporting domestic plants and factories which produce goods of poor quality which do not meet international standard requirements of expensive goods?
6. WTO does not consider the interests of the developing countries
During recent years the developing countries are those which play an active role in WTO because of possible more favorable terms for trade and commerce by way of negotiations on equal right basis. As a result the well-developed countries come to support the developing ones. Just an example is the reforming of the trade policy in the textile and agricultural sector within the Uruguay round of discussions.
7. WTO is a lobbying instrument
Separate countries can be WTO members and not the representatives of the private sector and non-governmental agencies. Based on the above, those agencies are not capable to take part in WTO sessions except for specific seminars and symposiums.
8. WTO membership is coercive measure for the developing countries
This opinion seem to also be a mistaken one, as the developing countries like those as well-developed and WTO members join this organization as based on its principles of transparency and non-discrimination. If a course of discussions between the countries as developing and well-developed means the failure for the first one, then multilateral discussions within WTO makes it possible to developing countries to make alliances with the other countries having similar interests.
9. Worsening the budget of WTO member-states
As it is known, customs duties which make a part of the governmental budget are reduced with cushioning the customs mode resulted from joining the WTO. However, the worse filling in the budget does not take place as higher import is capable to reimburse the reduced duties.
10. Food safety threat
When joining the WTO a member-country should become more dependable on the imported food. It seems to be difficult to eliminate the import from the domestic market without increasing the import duties. However, one should remember the comparative advantage as in the theory of economics which may assist in the environmental protection and the preservation of the used natural resources by having countries specializing in some certain products and the staff.