U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question during a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Each of these institutions has made a significant contribution to global economic growth, but none more so than the WTO. Owing to the expansion of an open multilateral trading system under the GATT/WTO, trade since WWII has grown 1.5 times faster than global GDP.The WTO's 164 member economies have committed to supporting an open multilateral system, and to common rules and procedures that are meant to help that system grow.Under WTO rules, international trading firms are subject to the same national regulations as domestic firms, and traders have the same rights as nationals in trade partners' courts.Governments may not discriminate against other WTO members (meaning that a benefit for one trading partner must be extended to all).Under the WTO framework, the principle of most-favored nations (MFN) allows for multilateral trade negotiations among equals.The WTO's dispute-settlement mechanism (DSM) is also vital for global trade.Like the mainspring of a mechanical watch, the WTO operates as the inner workings of the global trade system.The U.S. tariffs have already undermined global growth and weakened the WTO.
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