• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

World Trade Organization (WTO)

  • By: Chris Blackden
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a mul-tistate organization formed to administer a set of interlocking international agreements, which are concerned primarily with trade regulation. It also functions as a forum to negotiate changes and additions to these agreements. It officially came into existence on January 1, 1995. As of July 2008, there were 153 members, including most but not all of the world's sovereign governments. The WTO is explicitly committed to lowering trade barriers and to general economic liberalization. It plays a key role in international political economy and in contemporary geopolitics.

Most of the constituent agreements of the WTO took their present form during a series of multilateral negotiations known as the Uruguay Round, taking place from 1986 to 1994. These built on and ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles