How is the World Trade Organization (WTO) not a beneficial organization?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Critics of the World Trade Organization (WTO) levy a wide variety of charges against it.  These come in at least three major types. 

One type of argument holds that the WTO is antidemocratic.  For one thing, the WTO does not allow anyone to get much of a look at how it makes its decisions.  This lack of transparency is, to some people, fundamentally opposed to democracy.  For another thing, the WTO infringes on the ability of governments to run their countries as they wish.  The rules that the WTO issues prevent governments from doing what their people elect them to do.

Another aspect of the anti-WTO argument is that it blindly promotes free trade when there are other things that are better for the world.  For example, the WTO is criticized for valuing trade over things like environmental laws.  This school of thought holds that the WTO cares only about trade and money, not about the other things that are important.

Finally, there is the argument that the WTO harms poor countries in order to help the rich.  The WTO is controlled by the rich countries and, in this view, does their bidding.  It does things like forcing open markets in less developed countries that are not ready to compete with the rich world.

In these ways, some people argue, the WTO is not a beneficial organization.