BACKGROUND: The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established on 1 January 1995 as the legal and institutional foundation of the multilateral trading system. It provides the principal contractual obligations determining how governments frame and implement domestic trade legislation and regulations. And it is the platform on which trade relations among countries evolve through collective debate, negotiation and adjudication. The WTO is the embodiment of the results of the Uruguay Round trade negotiations and the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).


The WTO budget was about 154 million Swiss francs for 2003, with individual contributions calculated on the basis of shares in the total trade conducted by members. Part of the budget also goes to the International Trade Center.


Dispute Settlement Reports.

Focus. Official newsletter of the WTO.

From GATT to the WTO: The Multilateral Trading System in the New Millennium, edited by the WTO Secretariat.

Guide to Dispute Settlement.

Reshaping the World Trading System, second edition.

World Trade Review. Three issues per year.

WTO Agreement Series.

WTO Annual Report.

A full listing of publications is available on the WTO web site under "Resources" at

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: