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The WTO & American Global Involvement

Please read issues 4 and 11 and keep your answers to the point.
(TS) Issue 11: Is world trade organization membership beneficial?
(TS) Issue 4: "Should the United States Substantially Limit Its Global Involvement?

1- What are the pros and cons of WTO membership? What 4 key reforms would you propose for WTO and why?

2- What are the pros and cons of US global involvement for the world and for US? If you have an opportunity to advice President Obama on US global involvement what would be the top 3 points of your proposal?

Solution Preview

Benefits of WTO Membership

The World Trade organization is a global organization of nations that had been put together to regulate, supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization began its life in the 1995 Marrakech agreement replacing the 1948 General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT). The GATT now exists as the umbrella treaty of the WTO governing trade in goods. The main functions of the WTO are thus:

1. Overseeing the implementation, administration and operation of the covered agreements by the WTO.
2. Providing countries a forum to negotiate as well as settle trade disputes.

Pros & Cons

In this regard then, membership in the WTO can be beneficial to a country because trade systems follow rules and is regulated, thus disputes can be handled in a constructive manner. Agreements can help promote trade and encourage investments with all WTO members. This elements the need for government lobbying so that traders can concentrate in competing via the creation of quality goods. These activities stimulate growth and create wealth.

As for the cons - Since WTO agreements are built on consensus, countries & trading blocs with the most influence and political/economic power dominate the floor. As such, the concerns of individual countries without leverage are not looked at in context. Additionally, since the focus is on trade, membership does not necessarily mean true trade reform in all membership countries. So while countries all have the same access to trade and GATT rules in principle, bargaining power is unequal.

Suggested Reforms

The WTO is not a perfect organization. To come to terms with the needs of the times, the WTO has to continually amend its principles, rules and policies. If I were to suggest some key reforms they would be the following:

1. The WTO needs to step-up its policies to help in ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight, information, advise and insight that discusses the benefits of the WTO, the pros and cons of the WTO membership as well as a list of suggested reforms. It also discusses US involvement on global affairs with a lost of suggestion for Pres. Obama on the matter. References are listed. A word version of the solution is also attached.

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