Status of the WTO AgreementsCitation of the WTO agreementsAdditional sources of the WTO agreements & other trade agreements
GATT and early WTO documents, 1946-1997WTO documents, 1995-present
Citing the dispute settlement reportsDocuments from dispute settlements (submissions)Finding disputes by topic, article number, etc.Selected books about dispute settlement
Citation to official U.S. sourcesGovernment websites, etc.U.S. legislative history
This is the "WTO Structure and Membership" page of the "WTO/GATT Research" guide.
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WTO/GATT Research   Tags: foreign & international law, international law  

This guide presents the essential sources for researching the former GATT and the current system under the Uruguay Round agreements and the World Trade Organization. NOTE: Main tabs list general sources that might not be repeated in the dropdown tabs.
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

WTO Structure and Membership Print Page

Is the GATT an agreement or an IGO?

The GATT was the quasi-international organization that existed until 1995 to administer the trade agreement called the GATT 1947. The WTO was established in 1995. It provides the institutional framework for implementing the Uruguay Round agreements (including the GATT 1994), negotiating new trade rules and settling disputes between member countries.


    Members, observers and accessions Scroll to Membership for Member pages and information about Observers and Accessions.

    • The members of the WTO are nation states and the European Communities (European Union) as an organization. Each EU member state is also a member of the WTO. The European Commission speaks for all EU members at most WTO meetings.
    • A state can accede to the trade agreements as a new member after negotiations with its individual trading partners in the WTO and with the WTO as a whole. A protocol of accession memorializes the rights and obligations of the new members.
    • Applicant countries and IGOs can be observers.
    • See, A Handbook on Accession to the WTO, WTO 2008. B1 HF1385 .W55 2008  Interactive training version

      Organizational chart and documents of WTO bodies

      • WTO organizational chart
        This chart links to websites for the main WTO bodies: Ministerial Conference, General Council, Dispute Settlement Body, Trade Policy Review Board, Council for Trade in Goods, Council for Trade in Services, and Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, and subsidiary bodies.
      • Documents from WTO bodies, meetings, etc.
        Browse documents >Frequently consulted >Official records

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