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World Trade Organization

Although not officially established until 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO), housed in Geneva, Switzerland, emerged as the formal institution to enforce the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a multinational treaty that became operative in 1948. The purpose of the WTO is to enforce multinational trade agreements and to resolve trade disputes, not solely the GATT. The GATT was negotiated during the Allied nations’ Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 that also gave birth to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. At that time, an international trade organization was proposed to enforce an international trade treaty, but ultimately it was not created. Although no formal institution was created here, the GATT, however, emerged out of these negotiations but without a dedicated organization ...

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