Summary Of Wto Agreement

The “Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations”, signed by ministers on 15 April 1994 in Marrakesh, is 550 pages long and contains legislative texts presenting the results of the negotiations since the beginning of the round of negotiations in Punta del Este (Uruguay) in September 1986. In addition to the texts of the agreements, the Final Act also contains texts of ministerial decisions and declarations which continue to characterise certain provisions of certain agreements. This agreement should be distinguished from the new agreement on government procurement. The Agreement provides for prompt and detailed notification of all provisional or definitive anti-dumping measures to a Committee on Anti-Dumping Practices. The agreement provides the parties with an opportunity to consult on all matters related to the implementation of the agreement or the promotion of its objectives and to request the establishment of dispute review bodies. The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures – also known as the SPS Agreement – was negotiated during the GATT Uruguay Round and entered into force with the creation of the WTO in early 1995. Under the SPS Agreement, the WTO establishes restrictions on members` policies on food safety (bacterial contaminants, pesticides, inspection and labelling) and on animal and plant health (imported pests and diseases). A country wishing to join the WTO submits an application to the General Council and must describe all aspects of its trade and economic policy that refer to the WTO agreements. [95] The request is made to the WTO in a memorandum reviewed by a working group open to all interested WTO members.

[96] While the agreement focuses to a large extent on the phasing out of restrictions on MFAs, it also acknowledges that some members maintain restrictions outside the MFA that are not justified by a GATT provision. These would also be brought into line with GATT within one year of the entry into force of the Agreement or would be progressively repealed for a period not exceeding the duration of the Agreement (d. 2005). A country may have to sacrifice its own interests to avoid any violation of WTO agreements. Thus, a country is limited in its choices. In addition, brutal regimes that harm their own countries may inadvertently receive hidden support from foreign governments that continue to do business with these regimes in the name of free trade. Governments unfavourable to big capital therefore remain in power to the detriment of representative government. This agreement concerns the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures, i.e. food safety and animal and plant health rules. The Agreement recognizes that governments have the right to take sanitary and phytosanitary measures, but that they should be applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and that they should not arbitrarily or unfairly discriminate against Members where the same or similar conditions exist.

The agreement establishes requirements for safeguard investigations including publicity of hearings and other appropriate means for interested parties to gather evidence, including whether a measure is in the public interest. In critical circumstances, an interim safeguard measure may be applied on the basis of a provisional finding of serious injury. The duration of such an interim measure would not exceed 200 days. At the end of the bilateral discussions, the group shall transmit to the General Council or the Ministerial Conference an accession package including a summary of all meetings of the working groups, the accession protocol (a draft contract of accession) and lists (“calendars”) of the member`s obligations to be respected. Once the General Council or the Ministerial Conference has approved the conditions of accession, the applicant`s Parliament must ratify the Accession Protocol before it can become a member. [99] Some countries may have faced a more difficult and much longer accession process due to difficulties encountered in negotiations with other WTO members, such as Vietnam, whose negotiations lasted more than 11 years before becoming an official member in January 2007. [100] The package is part of an ongoing process with the long-term aim of ensuring substantial reductions in aid and protection. . . .