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The modern world has gone through different changes that have increased the interaction among people from different parts of the world and also the interaction among different nations from different continents. This has been through such issues as culture, technology, tourism and other factors that have been of interest to different communities in the world. However, one of the factors that have contributed greatly to the interaction of people throughout the world is trade. Since there is no single community in the world that possesses everything they need for their survival, there has been a necessity for them to acquire what they do not have from neighboring communities. On the other hand some communities have been able to produce certain products in large quantities, there has been a need to sell them to other communities to reduce wastage of these products. However, to avoid exploitation of any community that is involved in this exchange of goods and services, there is need for regulations of the tariffs and prices of these goods and service. Therefore, this role has been delegated to World Trade Organization.
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There are various roles that World Trade Organization plays in order to promote trade among the member nations. One of these roles includes the provision of a fundamental foundation that is necessary for trade agreements among the member nations (Boyes & Melvin, 2008, p.406). Despite the fact that nations have precious goods and services that are desperately needed by their neighboring nations, they have to be negotiations on the way these products and services will be priced on the international market. One of the ways that World Trade Organization has been able to form a platform for price regulation has been through the regulation of tariffs that are imposed on the products and services that are offered on the international market. For example, the World Trade Organization has foreseen trade wars between the United States of American and China in the next coming years and it is now involved actively in laying down the necessary measures to avert such kind of trade animosity as this could have devastating effects on the overall trade worldwide thus affecting other nations that are not involved. On the other hand, WTO is working hard to ensure that there is a consensus on the Doha Development Round talks (Zimbio, Inc).
Another role that is played by World Trade Organization is the settlement of trade disputes (Hartigan, 2009, p.4). Disputes in trade arise because of various issues. For example, political differences have been found to spill over to the trade market thus affecting the way international trade is carried out among member nations. As a result, the WTO has to intervene and help the countries involved to settle their disputes amicably and allow free trade to continue. According to Castle (2009), the European Union under the help of World Trade Organization ended the Banana dispute that had lasted for over 15 years. This dispute was based on the fact that the Latin American bananas that were exported to their former colonizers in the European Union territories were charged unfair tariffs that caused their prices to be twice as much as the prices that they were charged in South America thus eliminating their chances of competing with bananas from other regions of the world.
World Trade Organization activities can be compared to those of the regional bodies especially in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. These regional bodies include African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Latin American Development Bank. One of the main comparisons among these bodies is their quest to promote fair trade among the member nations. For example, the Asian Development Bank has been working on promoting the factors that enhance competition trade among its member nation and working on eliminating any trade barrier that could restrict the way trade was carried in its region (Sagar 2006). Similarly, the African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Latin America Development Bank have been working on improving trade environment in their regions by enhancing their economic and social developments in their regions. These mandates are similar to that of World Trade Organization that has sought to improve the economic development of its member countries through the enhancement of trade environments.
On the contrary, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Latin American Development Bank are regional bodies and therefore has power to control a limited part of the globe as compared to World Trade Organization that has a mandate to control trade activities among different nations in all continents since their member countries comes from different continents. Therefore, the regional bodies are limited in their area of jurisdiction. For example, African Development Bank has a mandate to promote economic development in Africa alone by fighting for fair treatment of its member countries by arguing for fair tariffs on goods and services that are both imported and exported from Africa. Similarly, the activities of regional bodies are more concerned with social development in their area of jurisdiction unlike World Trade Organization that is purely concerned with trade on the global scene.
On the other hand, the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Latin American Development Bank are more of financial bodies as compared to World Trade Organization which is a global international body that deals with trade rules among nations (World Trade Organization). As a result, World Trade Organization promotes a liberalized trade between nations while the regional bodies are able to offer financial aid to their members. For example, African Development Bank has been able to assist its members financially over time to combat poverty and other issues that have hindered social development (African Development Bank Group).
Therefore it is important for one to understand that World Trade Organization plays a critical role in promoting liberalized trade among its member nations. As a result, there is an enhanced trade that has been achieved mainly through elimination of tariff barriers. On the other hand, World Trade Organization has been able to deal with trade disputes that arose among its member nations thus enhancing free trade between nations that have found in such a state of trade quagmire. However, its activities vary greatly from that of the regional bodies that more of financial rather than regulatory.
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