The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international agency that promotes commerce between nations. Its goal is "to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business." All major countries are members of the WTO.
The WTO provides a forum for the ongoing negotiations needed to reduce trade barriers, while also administering the complex system of rules governing international trade. The WTO has a mechanism for resolving trade disputes between countries. All WTO members must undergo periodic scrutiny of their trade policies and practices.
The WTO has been in existence since 1995, when it took over the functions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is based in Geneva, Switzerland.