According to a 2017 study in the Journal of International Economic Law, “almost all the latest preferential trade agreements (EPAs) explicitly refer to the WTO, often dozens of times in several chapters. Similarly, in many of these EDPs, we find that essential parts of the language of the treaty – the majority of a chapter at a given time – are literally copied from a WTO agreement… the WTO`s presence in the EPZs has increased over time.  Studies show that the WTO has stimulated trade and that without the WTO, trade barriers would be higher.  The WTO has strongly influenced the text of trade agreements, as “almost all recent preferential trade agreements (EEAs) explicitly refer to the WTO, often dozens of times in several chapters… In many of these EDPs, we find that essential parts of the language of the treaty – the majority of a chapter at a given time – are literally copied from a WTO agreement.  In the UN`s Goal 10, WTO agreements have also been cited as instruments for reducing inequality.  The WTO`s highest decision-making body, the Ministerial Conference, usually meets every two years.  It brings together all WTO members, all of whom are countries or customs unions. The ministerial conference can make decisions on all issues as part of a multilateral trade agreement.
Some meetings, such as the first Ministerial Conference in Singapore and the Cancun conference in 2003, focused on conflicts between developed and developing countries known as “Singapore themes,” such as agricultural subsidies; While others, such as the Seattle conference in 1999, have provoked large protests. The fourth ministerial conference held in Doha in 2001 endorsed China`s accession to the WTO and launched the Doha Development Round, complemented by the sixth WTO Ministerial Conference (in Hong Kong), at which it was agreed to end agricultural export subsidies and adopt the European Union`s initiative to phase in tariffs on products from countries less advanced. At the wto`s sixth ministerial conference in December 2005, the WTO launched the Aid to Trade initiative, with a particular focus on helping developing countries trade, as set out in Goal 8 of Sustainable Development, which is to increase aid to trade and economic growth.  The WTO deals with the regulation of trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries by imposing a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute settlement procedure to enforce WTO agreements signed by representatives of member governments:fol.9-10 and ratified by their parliaments.  The WTO prohibits discrimination between trading partners, but provides exceptions for environmental protection, national security and other important objectives.  Trade disputes are settled by independent WTO judges in dispute resolution proceedings.  GATT still exists as a WTO framework agreement for merchandise trade, updated following the Uruguay Round negotiations (distinction between GATT 1994, the updated GATT, and the 1947 GATT, the original agreement that remains the heart of the 1994 GATT).  However, the 1994 GATT is not the only legally binding agreement contained in the final deed in Marrakech; a long list of some 60 agreements, annexes, decisions and agreements has been adopted.