Why is the WTO a Problem?

Publication - 2005-12-02
The WTO – since it came into being in 1995 – has made the promotion of free trade for the gain of private interests the ultimate goal, over and above all other social, public and environmental objectives. The system is fatally flawed: a properly functioning trade system should set the conditions for peace, security and sustainability. Instead, the WTO sees the promotion of trade as the key goal. For instance, the Doha trade talks, despite being labeled a development round, has failed to improve significantly and to take seriously the need to give priority to sustainable development and environmental policy. Issues that are most important to poorer countries have continually been stalled, with no progress in negotiations. This is creating a crisis of legitimacy for the WTO.