Criticism of the World Trade Organization

Criticism Of The World Trade Organization

Criticism of the World Trade Organization

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The stated aim of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is to promote free trade and stimulate economic growth. The actions and methods of the World Trade Organization evokes strong antipathies. Among other things, the WTO is accused of widening the sociological gap between rich and poor it claims to be fixing.

Developing countries

Critics contend that smaller countries in the WTO wield little influence, and despite the WTO aim of helping the developing countries, the politicians representing the most influential nations in the WTO (and within those countries or between them, influential private business interests) focus on the commercial interests of profit-making companies rather than the interests of all. Martin Khor argues that the WTO does not manage the global economy impartially, but in its operation has a systematic bias toward rich countries and multinational corporations, harming smaller countries which have less negotiation power. Some examples of this bias are:
  • Rich countries are able to maintain high import duties and quotas in certain products, blocking imports from developing countries (e.g. clothing);
  • The increase in non-tariff barriers such as anti-dumping measures allowed against developing countries;
  • The maintenance of high protection of agriculture in developed countries while developing ones are pressed to open their markets;
  • Many developing countries do not have the capacity to follow the negotiations and participate actively in......
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