The World Trade Organization (WTO) is fundamental to the functioning of the global economy. Businesses, farmers, consumers and workers in the United States and around the world rely heavily on the global rules-based trading system to provide certainty, standards and a sense of fairness to enable global commerce.
In Geneva, members are discussing a range of potential reforms to the WTO, including ideas for improving rules, increasing transparency and reforming the mechanism through which disputes are settled. Many of the proposals respond to recent criticisms leveled by the current U.S. Administration, though the issues that underlie these reform efforts have been under discussion among WTO Members for many years.
As the WTO comes under increased scrutiny, it is important to remember the central role the organization, including its dispute settlement function, plays in enabling global trade. This system benefits large and small businesses alike, as well as developed and developing countries. It creates opportunities and ensures greater certainty for producers, exporters and consumers throughout the world.
Businesses and workers in the United States benefit tremendously from the global trading system with the WTO at its core. Almost 39 million jobs rely on U.S. trade, and foreign markets are critical to many agriculture, manufacturing and services industries.1 Maximizing the effectiveness of the WTO through American engagement and leadership is in the broad national interest as a means to greater economic stability and prosperity.
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