World Trade Organization (WTO) the world trade organization is the continuation and development of the general agreement on Tariffs and trade (GATT).
From 1946 to 1947, the UN Economic and Social Council presided over the preparatory meeting of the international trade organization.
During the meeting, 23 countries including Britain, the United States and France signed the general agreement on Tariffs and trade on October 30, 1947 in order to facilitate tax reduction negotiations while waiting for countries to ratify the draft Charter of the international trade organization.
It entered into force on January 1, 1948.
The agreement was originally a transitional arrangement to be replaced by the international trade organization after the formal ratification of the Charter of the international trade organization.
However, the establishment of the World Trade Organization has been stranded for a long time because the governments of some countries such as the United States have not ratified the Charter.
As a result, the general agreement on Tariffs and trade continued to survive, and together with the International Monetary Fund and the world bank, it formed the three pillars of the Post-war Western world economic system.
Before the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995, there were 117 contracting countries and regions.
The total trade volume of these countries and regions accounted for about 85% of the world trade volume.
GATT is a multilateral international agreement on Tariffs and trade norms.
It is also a place for multilateral trade negotiations and dispute settlement.
The purpose of GATT is to promote trade liberalization by implementing unconditional multilateral most favoured nation treatment, weakening tariffs and other trade barriers, so as to make full use of world resources and expand commodity exchange.
In the 1980s, 85% of world trade was carried out within the framework of the general agreement.
The trade rules formulated by GATT and various agreements reached have a significant impact on international trade.
The main activity of GATT is to arrange bilateral negotiations between Contracting States on the tax rates of major commodities related to each other.
The concession agreement reached is automatically applicable to other Contracting States in accordance with the principle of most favoured nation treatment.
Since the conclusion of GATT, eight rounds of multilateral trade negotiations have been held successively, such as the famous “Dillon round”, “Tokyo round”, “Uruguay round”.
Through negotiations, the tax rate of imported industrial products in developed countries has decreased significantly, the tariffs of agricultural products have also been reduced to a certain extent, and the issues of non-tariff barriers and anti-dumping have also been involved.
The negotiations also adopted a “mandate clause” on granting preferential treatment to developing countries.
As an important outcome of the Uruguay Round negotiations, the agreement on the establishment of the World Trade Organization (also known as the “Marrakech Agreement”) was adopted at the Ministerial Conference of the general agreement on Tariffs and trade held in Marrakech, Morocco, on April 15, 1994.
According to the agreement, on January 1, 1995, the World Trade Organization officially replaced the general agreement on Tariffs and trade and became an important organization in international economic activities.
Its purpose is to promote economic and trade development to improve living standards, ensure full employment and ensure the growth of real income and effective demand.
According to the goal of sustainable development, make rational use of world resources, expand the production of goods and services, reach mutually beneficial agreements, significantly reduce and eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers, and eliminate discriminatory treatment in international trade.
GATT only applies to commodity trade, while the world trade organization covers trade in goods, services and intellectual property rights.
The headquarters of the world trade organization is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
At present, there are 134 members (as of September 2001), divided into Founding Member States and incorporated member states.
The former refers to those who were contracting members of the general agreement on Tariffs and trade in 1947 before the agreement on the establishment of the World Trade Organization came into force and have expressed their acceptance of the agreement and other agreements and documents.
The latter refers to any other member state that applies according to legal conditions and procedures and is accepted by more than 23 votes of the Ministerial Council of the organization.
The World Trade Organization has: (1) the ministerial conference is the highest authority.
Generally, meetings shall be held at least every two years to discuss, decide and take action on all important issues related to the functions of the World Trade Organization.
(2) A General Council composed of all members.
Perform the functions of the world trade organization during the recess of the Ministerial Conference, including as a dispute settlement body and a policy review body.
(3) The General Council consists of the Council for trade in goods, the Council for trade in services and the Council for trade-related intellectual property rights, which respectively perform the functions entrusted by relevant agreements and the General Council.
(4) The Ministerial Conference consists of the trade and Development Committee (responsible for regularly reviewing the provisions of multilateral trade agreements on LDCs and reporting to the General Council), the balance of payments Committee and the budget, finance and Administration Committee.
(5) Secretariat: provide various regular services for the above-mentioned functional institutions.
The main activities of the world trade organization are: (1) implementing, managing and operating the Uruguay round package agreement and sub multilateral trade agreements.
(2) Presiding over multilateral trade negotiations.
(3) As a dispute settlement body.
(4) As a trade policy review body.
(5) Participate in global economic policy-making in cooperation with the International Monetary Fund and the world bank.
The basic legal principles of WTO are: (1) the principle of fairness.
The export trade operators of each member shall not use unfair trade means to carry out or distort international trade competition, especially not sell products in the territory of other members by means of dumping and subsidies.
(2) Principle of tariff concession.
Tariff concessions are generally negotiated between major suppliers and importers of products, and other members can also participate.
The results of bilateral concessions negotiations can be applied by other members without negotiation in accordance with the principle of “most favoured nation treatment”.
(3) Principle of transparency.
Require members to promulgate effectively implemented laws, regulations, administrative rules and judicial decisions on foreign trade, so as to familiarize other member governments and trade operators.
Existing agreements and treaties signed among members that affect international trade policies should also be published.
All members shall uniformly, fairly and reasonably implement all laws, regulations, administrative rules and judicial judgments within their territory.
(4) Non discriminatory trade principles.
The specific manifestations are “general most favoured nation treatment” and “national treatment”.
The principle of MFN treatment is: if one member gives another member some preferential treatment, the same preferential conditions should be extended to all members “immediately and unconditionally” to ensure that no member is subjected to “discriminatory” treatment.
(5) General prohibition and quantity restriction principle.
In terms of trade in goods, the WTO onlyAllow tariff protection and prohibit other non-tariff barriers, especially quantitative restrictions mainly in the form of quotas and licenses.
However, there are exceptions to the prohibition of quantitative restrictions.
For example, countries with balance of payments difficulties are allowed to implement quantitative restrictions.
“Infant industries” in developing countries are also allowed to be protected.
As early as 1986, China put forward the request to restore its status in the general agreement on Tariffs and trade.
However, due to the unreasonable request of the United States and other countries that China must join the general agreement as a developed country, China not only failed to restore its status in the general agreement on Tariffs and trade, but also failed to become a founding member of the world trade organization when it was established in 1995.
On September 17, 2001, the 18th meeting of the China working group of the World Trade Organization officially adopted the protocol and annex on China’s accession to the WTO and the report of the China working group in Geneva.
This marks the end of all negotiations on China’s accession to the WTO.
At the Doha Conference in November 2001, China’s WTO accession procedures were confirmed by a vote, and China officially became a member of the world trade organization.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) the International Monetary Fund is the most important intergovernmental international financial organization.
It is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations.
At the end of the Second World War, in order to avoid the recurrence of the great depression in the 1930s and the extreme chaos of the monetary system during the two world wars, in July 1944, The Bretton Woods conference, attended by government officials and economists from 44 countries, unanimously adopted the final protocol of the United Nations Monetary and financial conference and the agreement between the International Monetary Fund and the international bank for reconstruction and development.
According to the above agreement, the International Monetary Fund and the international bank for reconstruction and development (also known as the World Bank) were established.
By the end of 1998, there were 182 members.
The purpose of the International Monetary Fund is to provide a coordinating body for international financial and monetary cooperation, promote the stability of international exchange, avoid competitive exchange depreciation among countries, and eliminate foreign exchange controls that hinder international trade.
Promote the expansion and balanced development of international trade and assist in the establishment of a multilateral payment system for currency transactions among member states.
Coordinate the temporary imbalance of member countries’ balance of payments through loans.
Its main role is to maintain an orderly international payment and settlement system, and its financial resources are available to all Member States.
The International Monetary Fund has two functions.
One is the function of formulating rules and regulations, including determining and implementing the code of conduct in international financial and monetary affairs.
The second is the financial function, which provides short-term loans for member countries due to the balance of payments deficit.
The organization of the International Monetary Fund: (1) the Council is the highest authority of the fund.
It is composed of one director and one vice director appointed by each member state.
The director is generally held by the Minister of finance or the president of the Central Bank of each country.
The council meets annually in September.
The main functions and powers are to approve the admission of new members.
Decide on fund shares and allocate special drawing rights.
To monitor the changes in the currency exchange rate of Member States.
Decide on the withdrawal of Member States from the fund and discuss and decide on major reforms of the international monetary system.
Each member of the board of directors shall exercise the voting rights of his own country independently (the size of the voting rights of each country shall be determined by the number of fund shares he has paid).
(2) The executive board is the body responsible for handling day-to-day business.
In fact, it has exercised the power of the Council to some extent.
The executive board consists of 24 executive directors.
Five of them are held by the five countries with the largest share (the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Japan) and do not participate in the executive board election.
The remaining 19 executive directors are elected by 19 constituencies of member states according to regions, which are elected every two years.
Saudi Arabia, Russia and China form their own separate constituencies.
The voting rights exercised by the executive directors elected in each constituency are the sum of the voting rights of the countries in the constituency they represent.
The president is responsible for the business work of the fund and exercises the function of chairman of the executive board.
He is elected by the executive board for a term of five years and can be re elected.
Successive presidents are traditionally held by Europeans.
The fund of the international monetary fund mainly comes from the shares subscribed by Member States.
The share of each member state is determined by the organization according to economic indicators such as national income, gold and foreign exchange reserves, import and export trade volume and the proportion of exports in national income.
When this share is paid, 25% is in convertible currency or special drawing rights and 75% is in local currency.
The allocation of fund shares of each member state determines their respective voting rights, foreign exchange loans and the amount of special drawing rights allocated.
According to the regulations, each member state has 250 basic votes and 1 vote for every 10 SDRs.
The share of Member States will be reviewed every five years, and the share of individual countries will be adjusted.
The special drawing right system was established at the 24th Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund in 1969.
It is a new international reserve asset accounting unit, which is centered on IMF and established by means of financial cooperation.
SDRs cannot be exchanged for gold.
In 1974, the International Monetary Fund officially announced: “the special drawing right should be the main reserve asset, reduce the role of gold and other reserve currencies, and the special drawing right should be the valuation standard of other currencies.
” The United States has about 20% of the voting rights in the International Monetary Fund, so it has always played a decisive role in the activities of the organization.
China is a founding member of the organization.
After the birth of new China, China’s seats have been illegally occupied by the authorities for a long time.
On April 17, 1980, my representation was restored.
Since then, my delegation has participated in the annual meetings of the organization.
China’s initial share in IMF was only 1.8%. On February 5, 2001, the IMF Council voted and adopted a resolution on China’s special capital increase, increasing China’s share in the IMF from 6.
1 billion SDRs to 8.
3 billion SDRs, thus raising China’s share in the IMF from the original 11th to the 8th. III. The World Bank, in accordance with the decision of the Bretton Woods conference in July 1944, the international bank for reconstruction and development and the International Monetary Fund were established simultaneously on December 7, 1945.
Since November 5, 1947, the international bank for reconstruction and development has become a specialized agency of the United Nations, also known as the world bank, headquartered in Washington.
According to regulations, only countries participating in the International Monetary Fund can apply to participate in the world bank.
At the beginning of its establishment, the world bank was mainly committed to warThe revival of post Western Europe.
Since then, its purpose is to help less developed countries achieve economic development by providing loans to productive projects and providing guidance to reform plans.
The main organizations of the world bank are: (1) Council: the highest authority.
It is composed of one director and one vice director appointed by each member state and can be reappointed.
The annual meeting is held jointly with the international monetary fund every autumn.
Its main functions and powers are to approve new member states, increase or decrease bank capital, suspend the qualification of Member States, and determine the distribution of Bank net income.
In the Council, each director shall exercise his own voting rights separately.
(2) Executive Board: the body of the world bank responsible for handling day-to-day business.
It is composed of 24 executive directors, of which 5 are appointed by the five countries with the largest shares (the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Japan) and do not participate in the election.
The remaining 19 are elected by 19 constituencies composed of directors from other member countries according to regions, which are elected every two years.
Saudi Arabia, Russia and China all form a separate constituency.
The voting rights exercised by the executive director of each constituency are the sum of the voting rights of the countries in the constituency he represents.
The president is elected by the executive director.
The president is the ex officio chairman of the executive board and the head of the staff of the bank.
As usual, the candidates for successive presidents are appointed by the United States.
The current president is James Wolfensohn.
The world bank’s initial legal capital is US $10 billion.
After three general share increases, the total amount now reaches US $171.
The main source of loan funds required by the world bank is the world’s main capital markets.
Raise funds from the capital market by issuing bonds.
The contribution of Member States accounted for only a small part of the funds required by the bank.
According to the articles of association, the voting rights enjoyed by each member state are calculated according to the shares held by that state, with one vote per share.
In addition, each member state also enjoys 250 basic voting rights.
In 1985, the Council of the world bank passed a resolution stipulating that the authorized share capital should be increased by 33000 shares (about US $4 billion), and each member state should subscribe to 250 shares without paying the share capital.
The purpose of this capital increase is to increase the weight of basic voting rights so that the voting rights of member states with fewer shares will not be too low.
The main business activity of the world bank is to provide long-term loans to developing member countries and project loans to governments to finance them to build some construction projects with long construction cycle and low profit margin, but necessary for the country’s economic and social development.
If a loan is made to a private enterprise, it must be guaranteed by the government of that country.
The above loans are commonly referred to as the “hard loans” of the world bank.
China is one of the founding members of the world bank.
In May 1980, the people’s Republic of China officially restored its legal seat in the world bank.
Since then, our delegation has participated in all the annual meetings of the organization.
China’s share in the world bank was US $4.
48 billion, accounting for 3.
01%, with 45079 votes, accounting for 2.
92% of the total votes, ranking sixth.