Talk:World Trade Organization

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Article needs some rewriting[edit]

Every once in a while I come across an article that does more to confuse the reader than explain, as this one does. It's common in controversial articles where arguments and vandalism are frequent and more is done to keep peace or not disturb the fragile apparent tranquility of the talk page. When dozens or hundreds of editors write an article, they often do so by inserting a sentence here, a paragraph there, which does not help the cohesiveness of the overall ideas that are presented in sources. Often in controversial articles, the bits that are added are from people with specific pet points they would like to see highlighted, rather than editors who consider the weight that sources give the issues.

I am unfamiliar with the issues of the WTO, which is why I came by to read a summary. The lead in this article is completely confusing. It does not explain what the WTO is trying to accomplish and what the issues of resistance are. Every time the WTO has a conference rioting breaks out. For what?

It would greatly help the article for one or two editors to access the most authoritative sources on what the WTO is and does and explain the issues to someone who just landed on the planet and can somehow understand English. --Moni3 13:50, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

the world trade organisation[edit]

what are its aims and objectives? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:09, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

In plain English it is 'to streamline and homogenize all rules that affect trade'. The most striking example is probably the chlorine solution rinsed chicken meat which the Germans are quite determined to keep out. But the international trade rules, from the WTO to the trans-Atlantic trade agreement proposal would regard this as a non-tarriff trade impediment and moves will be made to sue all governments who would impose laws that prohibit such meat and which cause profit reduction with the suppliers. In effect, these trade rules are designed to enable compensation court cases and thus override national legislators. Transfer that principle to all goods and services, and you know what the WTO goals are. That would include a bottle deposit on brown fizzy sugar water containers. It costs the company more having to adhere to such a scheme, maybe even reduces consumption = trade impediment. The new Indian PM has not signed up to the Bali round, which has now collapsed. Overruling Indian rules for Indian food reserves was the official reason given. It was said at the time, only weeks ago, that the WTO may well be meaningless after this collapse. (talk) 02:09, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject Trade[edit]

I note that the trade project still has only two participants signed on and that someone has awarded us a "semi-active" smear, which is justified only by the fact that we've been actively editing without relating to the project. Perhaps more folk would like to come aboard so that we can lift the tag. Cheers, Bjenks (talk) 04:09, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Russia's membership ratified[edit]

Today, the Russian State Duma has ratified its inclusion in the WTO, so its membership is no longer pending. - (talk) 15:01, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

This is now reflected in the article Jonpatterns (talk) 16:12, 22 December 2013 (UTC)


Why there's no mention of the fact that the principal end of the WTO concept is the progressive reduction of customs, and all the other goals, like non-discrimination, transparency etc, merely accessory aspects of this foremost end?

WTO members aren't allowed to heighten their tariffs (freeze-up obligation), they are to the contrary bound to take part in negotiations on tariff-reductions. This can be deducted from the WTO-page of the german wikipedia. Even the french wikipedia page cites "la lutte contre le protectionnisme douanier"! (talk) 08:25, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

I looked over the German wikipedia article and found a lot more information as to what countries are allowed to do and not to do after WTO rules. Anybody who can read another language ought to be aware that wikipedia articles in other languages are written independently. When you have an article open and click in the language pane on the left, you will get the corresponding article in that language. When the language is not listed, that particular article does not exist in that particular language. E.g. The German article on Argentina mentions the IMF's involvement in awarding loans to Argentina since 1985, which is significant in the currently messy situation. The German WTO article also says more about the interactions between WTO, IMF, World Bank etc.
The recommendation to read an article in another language because it might contain more or updated information ought to be on the head page, I guess. (talk) 04:05, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Iran is the biggest economy outside the WTO[edit]

In the 'Members and observers' subsection this statement is made: Iran is the biggest economy outside the WTO. But the reference only confirms Iran isn't a member, nothing about the size of its economy compared to other non members? Jonpatterns (talk) 17:07, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

I've added a better source from the WTO. TDL (talk) 18:43, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

Why is there no criticism or controversies section?[edit]

This seems odd to me given there are non-trivial criticisms of the WTO both from within modern industrial nations and from less developed economies who are sometimes said to be at a disadvantage due to WTO policies (for example, this Guardian article.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Evanharmon (talkcontribs) 20:24, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Exit discussion missing[edit]

Recent trade sanctions on Russia have led to their questioning their membership. I have read something like 'two years in the WTO, where are the benefits?' There has even been a discussion in Moscow to exit the WTO - and the mechanism for that is NOT described in here.

We should never act as if an international organisation, any organisation, was holy like a religion which we could never leave.
1. What are the exit mechanisms for the WTO? Giving a year's notice like exiting the EU or the Refugee Convention?
2. Would that country then be under sanctions, or would other WTO members be prohibited from trading with the country which exited? (talk) 02:18, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Merger Proposal[edit]

I propose merging Criticism of the World Trade Organization with World Trade Organization This will create a better article with a stronger NPOV and ensure we do not give undue weight. The article Criticism of the World Trade Organization has 4 sections which I propose we merge as follows:

  • Section 1 - Martin Khor - these criticisms could be placed in the "principles of the trading system" since the criticisms focus on that. they likely won't get their own section but could get merged into the paragraph there
  • Section 2 - Labour and Enviroment - There is no section for the enviroment in the WTO article so we should make a section there. if additional information comes up for it it can get flushed out even more ( the enirovment is a big thing for WTO so I have no doubt we can google up lots of sources )
  • Section 3 - Decision Making - This can be merged into the Decision making section inside the World trade article.
  • Section 4 - references ( we can just merge the two refference sections together )

This merger will be easy to accomplish and will leave us with a stronger article. if length becomes an issue we can look at splitting the article by different topics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bryce Carmony (talkcontribs) 23:37, 13 March 2015 (UTC)


Perhaps I missed it, but the funding (who, how much) of any organization is very relevant for "follow the money" motivation considerations. Ecstatist (talk) 18:47, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

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Dr. Vanzetti's comment on this article[edit]

Dr. Vanzetti has reviewed this Wikipedia page, and provided us with the following comments to improve its quality:

Somewhat dated, e.g. "As of June 2012,..."

"The conflict between free trade on industrial goods and services but retention of protectionism on farm subsidies to domestic agricultural sector (requested by developed countries) and the substantiation of fair trade on agricultural products (requested by developing countries) remain the major obstacles." The term "farm subsidies" is not clear. WTO uses the terms "domestic support" and "export subsidies".

Developing countries also want domestic support. Even more so after the Bali Ministerial.

"The WTO's current Director-General is Roberto Azevêdo,[11][12] who leads a staff of over 600 people in Geneva, Switzerland.[13] A trade facilitation agreement known as the Bali Package was reached by all members on 7 December 2013, the first comprehensive agreement in the organization's history.[14][15]". This para is disjointed. The first sentence should be moved further down to Office of Director General.

"The WTO General Council, on 26 May 2009, agreed to hold a seventh WTO ministerial conference session in Geneva from 30 November-3 December 2009." The 2008 Ministerial should be mentioned before this.

There is little discussion on why the WTO has failed to progress, leading to a proliferation of RTAs. Now the WTO is primarily a dispute settlement agency.

One reason is the negotiations about reductions in bound tariff rates are largely irrelevant for most members. For developing countries who joined in 1995, bound rates exceed applied rates, so cuts in bounds rates are practically meaningless. In addition, many countries suffer preference erosion, so have little incentive to move the negotiations forward.

The WTO itself should write this article. They have better material on their website.

We hope Wikipedians on this talk page can take advantage of these comments and improve the quality of the article accordingly.

Dr. Vanzetti has published scholarly research which seems to be relevant to this Wikipedia article:

  • Reference : Vanzetti, David & Peters, Ralf, 2009. "Duty-free and quota-free market access for LDCs," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 47646, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

ExpertIdeasBot (talk) 16:12, 31 May 2016 (UTC)