The US joined WTO on January 1st, 1995, when the organization was initiated. Since then it has been an integral part of the organization due to its dominant position in world trade and commerce.
The two share a close relationship with the US reaching to the organization to settle its disputes. It has filed disputes against several countries including Indonesia, China and India to settle trade related issues. It has also been a part of 119 cases as a respondent and more than a hundred cases as a third party.
The country has always been a big supporter of the organization and believes in bringing peace and harmony in the country, which is not possible until strong trade rules and regulations are created and implemented.
The United States is a member of these groups in the negotiations:
> Friends of Ambition (NAMA)
> Friends of Fish (FoFs)
> Joint proposal (in intellectual property)
Nonetheless, in the country the WTO is not always looked as a respected organization by various groups. There lies a section of people that is against the WTO’s stipulations and laws and considers it a reason for the gradual downfall of the US economy.
Some reasons why many people in the US are against WTO are:
- The organization allows some countries to use protection while some countries cannot do so. This law has caused several issues in the US as the country cannot put tariffs against Chinese imports whereas China has the right to do so. This has been a major bone of contention as many people are of the view that laws like these prevent the US economy from flourishing while allowing other countries to succeed.
- The World Trade Organization is a legal entity and is not accountable to anyone, not even the member nations. The organization holds a lot of power that goes completely unchecked. Due to this reason a great number of people want the US to cut ties with the organization so that it is not controlled by it. Many have even gone to the extent of calling the US a puppet in the hands of the WTO.
- One of the biggest concerns is the power that the WTO gives to global corporations. Under certain conditions, corporations have the right to sue actual nations putting their sovereignty on the line. Many experts say that giant corporations can use the power invested in them to bend countries according to their will and cause troubles.
Conversely, there are people who do have faith in the organization, which is why the US continues to be a member of the WTO. It cannot be denied that the country has greatly benefitted from its membership as well.
Being a member allows the US to reach to new markets. At the same time the problem related with disputes has been handled as well as the WTO deals with the trade related disputes to find justified solutions.