Influence of the World Trade Organization (WTO)

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  • Good cause: The objectives of the WTO look honourable.
  • EU-US trade relationship: Most trade is done between those regions
  • Greed:
    • Large Multinationals: WTO rules favor large multinationals
    • Rich countries: WTO rules favor the richer countries
  • Forced membership: Not being a member of WTO severly limits your trade capabilities (embargo)
  • Globalization


  • Unfair treatment: Third/second world countries feel exploited by some WTO regulations.

e.g. Protection of the rich: Sugar import taxes, being above 110% (150% in some countries) in many large rich countries like the US, whilst sugar import taxes in most poor nations were just 20%. The WTO actually insisted those poor countries to drop their import taxes.

  • Return to protectionist measures as a result of financial downturn. Protectionist measures aimed at national/regional constituencies can threaten the free movement of goods (e.g. by imposing import duties)
  • Anti-globalization movement


  • Before: International trade was severly limited by local government rules
  • After: International trade is easy now because consistent rules are made internationally.

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