World Trade Organization and Shipping

All around the world, people are shipping their cargo and not worrying about who is establishing the rules and regulations for international freight shipping or other international trade. The very reason we are all able to ship so freely without much government intervention is largely because of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) that eventually led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is because of membership in the WTO that rules are established between nations and trade barriers are addressed in a timely manner. Sometimes these barriers are set up by the WTO in order to control substances and possibly stop the spread of diseases. The most important role is to allow importers and exporters to have a representative on a world level to help ensure the flow of goods while allowing individual governments to meet their own objectives. This translates to better global shipping services and more open markets since rules have been established. It also allows for a place to settle any disputes that may arise with countries at odds which further promotes peace between nations. This is where the Most Favored Nation (MFN) status comes in which countries cannot just discriminate against trading with another country without significant cause. While there are exceptions to the MFN status such as free trade agreements in a specific trade lane, it overall keeps trade between nations on a more even keel. It can even allow for special access to certain markets that would ordinarily not have the structure set up for international trade, like ports set up for international cargo shipping, or airports ready for global shipping companies. Overall, the WTO has been an asset to international trade.