What does the World Trade Organization do?
The World Trade Organization (WTO):
- provides a forum for Members to negotiate trade rules and agreements
- provides dispute resolution
- monitors and reviews domestic trade policies of Members
- helps developing country Members comply with WTO rules (and realise the benefits of membership).
Australia and the WTO
Australia's economy relies on a strong and open global trading environment. The Australian Government is strongly committed to the WTO and its framework of rules, which helps promote and protect the open global trading system.
Our membership in the WTO means that we benefit from its trade rules and we have a process to settle disputes if other trade partners breach these rules.
The WTO operates by consensus. Every Member's opinion carries the same weight, and all Members must agree before a decision can be made. This means that progress can be slow, but once an agreement is reached, all members are obliged to honour it.
Australia is also committed to reforming the WTO to ensure it can function more effectively, and continues to meet the needs of Members and business in today’s modern global trading environment.
The WTO operates by consensus; all Members must agree before decisions are made.
WTO agreements include:
- Information Technology Agreement
- Trade Facilitation Agreement
- Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)
More about the WTO
- Trade monitoring and reviews
- WTO disputes
- Intellectual property
- Registration of Geographical Indications (GI) in Australia
- WTO accession of new members
- WTO Ministerial conferences
- Trade and environment
- Current WTO negotiations