In recent years, negotiations on these and other issues have resulted in a complete update of the WTO regulatory framework. A revised agreement on public procurement, adopted at the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2011, expanded the scope of the original agreement by about $100 billion per year. Decisions are made by the whole membership. It`s usually consensual. A majority decision is also possible, but it has never been used in the WTO and has been extremely rare under the WTO`s predecessor, GATT. The WTOs agreements have been ratified by all members` parliaments. The high-level supreme decision-making body is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. Exceptions may be granted in the form of Article II exceptions. Members could apply for such exemptions before the agreement came into force. New derogations may only be granted to new members at the time of accession or, in the case of current members, by a derogation under Article IX:3 of the WTO agreement. All exceptions are subject to review; they should not, in principle, last more than 10 years. In addition, the GATS allows groups of members to enter into economic integration agreements or to mutually recognize regulatory standards, certificates and others when certain conditions are met.
The new work programme included negotiations and other work on non-agricultural tariffs, trade and the environment, WTO rules on anti-dumping duties and subsidies, trade facilitation, transparency of public procurement, intellectual property and a number of issues raised by developing countries such as difficulties in implementing WTO agreements. The existence of specific commitments entails other obligations relating, among other things, to the notification of new measures having a significant impact on trade and the prevention of restrictions on international payments and transfers. By removing barriers to trade through negotiations between member governments, the WTOs system also removes other barriers between peoples and trading countries. The WTO has 164 members, representing 98% of world trade. A total of 22 countries are negotiating accession. The WTOs govern the agreements are the result of negotiations between the members. The current series is, to a large extent, the result of the 1986-1994 Uruguay Round negotiations, which included a complete revision of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). More than three-quarters of WTO members are developing economies or least developed economies. All WTO agreements include specific provisions, including longer timelines for the implementation of commitments, measures to improve trade opportunities, and assistance in the implementation of global trade promotion services. Banks, insurance companies, telecommunications companies, tour operators, hotel chains and transport companies wishing to conduct transactions abroad benefit from the same open-ended trade principles that originally applied only to trade in goods. These principles are set out in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).