The World Trade Organization is a global body tasked with the role of enhancing trade on the international front. It works to reduce barriers to trade while ensuring that countries worldwide reap the most benefits from commerce. However, the WTO has historically received a backlash from both developed and developing countries. On the one hand, the richer countries claim the organization should not exercise its power over them, while, on the other, the poorer countries regard it as a representative of the rich countries. However, its purpose to promote interests through opening up barriers, thereby encouraging imports and exports in equal measure, means that huge multinational companies will have access to global markets.
Kenner & Pearlstein (2012) note that the growth of such companies as, say, Tyson, is disadvantageous to the consumer and competitors. The expansion of trade to a global level is also discouraging the sovereignty of nation-states, and reducing the level of control over the quality of food products produced, putting the health of consumers at risk. The role of the World Trade Organization is to expand throughout the world, with a move towards globalization.
However, globalization has its fair share of criticism; the most outstanding one of which is that less powerful nations have less of a say in the direction such debates take. It appears to the poorer nations that their more powerful counterparts make decisions that have an impact on the course of their lives on their behalf, pushing them to the sidelines. However, the WTO has countered this allegation. Legrain (2004) supports the WTO efforts, bashing the claim that developed countries’ opinions less.
He refers to Ecuador’ s example on bananas, in which the EU had turned down their exports and imposed a host of restrictions that made trade difficult due to the increased cost of export. However, the author fails to mention the fact that exports from developed countries far outdo those from developing ones.
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