Bali Package; The First International Trade Treaty Signed by 159 Members of the World Trade Organization

25 Dec 2013 12:51 PM | Manaslu Bista (Administrator)
The World Trade Organization’s 159 members agreeing to the Bali package of trade-friendly and development initiatives for the first time in history could entail that the global attitude toward international trade is shifting toward a positive spectrum. How does this affect the World Trade Center Denver and our affiliate members? The pact hopes to make international trade easier and faster by enhancing the customs procedures and red tape around the world. In addition, the package aims to support trade, particularly in developing countries. Most importantly, this package values leveraging developing countries’ need for food security.

Since the establishment of the WTO, it has received harsh criticism; particularly in cases where it took pledges to bring progressive changes in developing countries. In order to convince ourselves that the recently signed package may have the potential to enhance international trade, we need to first debunk a few of the most misunderstood representations of the World Trade Organization. First, we need to understand that the WTO does not dictate policies to the government. Instead, it formulates rules that result from negotiations among government officials. Second, we need to know that the WTO does not undermine jobs and increase the disparity among the rich and poor. Instead, we should be cognizant of the complex relationship between trade and equality. We should acknowledge the fact that every country is different with complex and varying sets of rules. Third, we need to clear our minds from assumptions that the WTO is solely the tool of powerful lobbies. We must remember that the role of the WTO is to influence governments to avoid decision-making solely based on the interest of pressure groups. In the last few years, the idea of nations coming together and agreeing on a unified set of trading laws seemed hard to achieve.

Eventually, the WTO became extraneous to many countries. After a decade of having little faith in the WTO, the new package hopes to enervate some of the doubts countries have of the WTO. The success in finalizing this package hopes that its mission and values will be instilled into trade deals which are now on the process of being negotiated. Nonetheless, the WTO plans to focus on strengthening the Doha negotiations. However, not everyone is convinced by the Bali Package. There are some who believe that this Package could impede in the way of countries that prefer to set their own trade standards dependent on environment restoration, workers rights, food security and more.

Nonetheless, the Bali Package, for the first time in the history of the WTO, has restored the idea that if all countries, albeit rich or poor, respect a common set of trade principles, they will prosper; a much needed belief for the survival of international friendly trade. If you are thinking of doing business internationally, or want to get educated in this field, you can learn more through our award-winning classes and educational programs. To check out what classes are being offered in spring, please click here.