World Trade Organisation

6 September 2005 | Glossary

Multilateral trading organisation comprising of 142 countries (as of July 2001) who accede to four major treaties governing almost every area of trade. Ascension into the WTO binds all members to all treaties and all provisions within the treaties (subject to a few minor exceptions) although grace periods are granted to individual members states as to when implementation of treaty provisions take place. The four main WTO agreements are: the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS); and Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS).