According to the official press release, the members of the World Trade Organisation signed the group’s first trade reform agreement in Bali Indonesia this month. The agreement is designed to remove international trade barriers , which could add $1 trillion to the global economy.
The agreement is a milestone for the 159 members of the W.T.O., which was created in 1995. As director general Roberto Azevedo said, “we have put the world back into the World Trade Organisation. For the first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered”
The centrepiece of the agreement is measures to ease barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures and making them more transparent. Analysts estimate that it could eventually bolster the world economy by billions of dollars and create more than 20 million jobs, mostly in developing countries. But some critics claimed WTO rules might hinder countries from setting their own priorities in environmental protection, worker rights, food security and other areas. Concerns have also been raised that sudden reductions in import tariffs could wipe out industries, causing job losses in rich and poor countries.
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