Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Voting in World Trade Organization

A researcher told me that the World Trade Organization work on the principle of concensus. All countries have to agree before a resolution is passed by WTO.

Because of this concept, it is difficult to get any meaningful resolution passed by WTO. Some country will object for their special reason. The resolution has to be changed to a convoluted form to get it approved by concensus.

As a result, the WTO is "stuck" and is not able to get any meaningful resolution passed in recent years.

A more proper system is to get resolution passed by 90% of the votes and be binding on all.

This still leaves the question of whether the resolution should be weighted by size of country.

One approach is to allow the countries to choose the number of votes that they wish to be classified under, e.g. 1 vote to 5 vote and for the country to contribute to the budget of WTO according to the vote.

If a country opts for 5 votes, they will contribute 5 times of the fee compared to a country that opt to have 1 vote.

I don't know if I have identified the problem of WTO correctly. I hope to get some views on this issue.

Tan Kin Lian

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