February 22, 2010

Components of Washing Machine

Page of Contents:                                                                                      Page

               I.      Title Page                                                                                          1

             II.      Page of Contents                                                                              1

            III.      Introduction                                                                                        1

A.     The Components and their Descriptions                                             2

1.      The Motor                                                                               2

2.      The Fill Valve                                                                         3

3.      The Tubs                                                                                3

4.      Clutch and Brake Mechanism                                                         4

5.      Motor Coupler and Belt                                                        4

6.      Central Agitator                                                                     5

7.      The Gearbox                                                                          5

B.   Major Systems                                                                           7

1.      Cable and Pulley Support System                                     8

2.      Vibration-Damping System                                                8

C.      Controls                                                                                      9

1.      Cycle Switches                                                                                 9

2.      Speed and Temperature Control Switches                                  10

3.      Water Level Control Switch                                                            10

4.      Timer Selector Switches                                                     12

         IV.       Summary and Conclusion                                                                           12



            This paper enumerates and discusses the compartments that made up the washing machine.  Additionally, the systems involve in the function of the machine has been also identified and described.  Generally, the content of this paper can be broken down into two parts: one is the identification and enumeration of the major parts of the washing machine and the other one is the description of the different essential systems involve in the washing machine.  At the end of the descriptions and enumeration is the summary and conclusion that this paper has come up with. 

The Components and their Descriptions:

            Inside the washing machine is a pack of components and parts that makes up the machine.  Additionally, the components are also the ones responsible why most washing machines are quite heavy. 

  1. The Motor

The Motor, along with the counterweight can be accounted to the explanation of why washing machines are usually heavy and it also plays an important role in the function of the washing machine.  Moreover, the motor drives the agitator during the wash cycle and spins the clothes during the damp dry or spin cycle.  It is then the role of the pump in removing the water from the tub and lifting it out to the drain. 

The motor inside the washing machine works in two ways.  In one direction, the motor works through a clutch and a transmission to spin the inner tub and through centrifugal force, this motion causes the water to be forced out of the clothes into the outer tub where it is pumped out of the machine.  On the opposite direction, the motor works through the same clutch and transmission in order to move the agitator back and forth during the wash cycle. 

However, on other machines, the motor runs in only one direction. In these machines an electro-mechanical device automatically shifts the transmission from its agitate settings to its spin settings (repairclinic.com).

Motor and the Counterweight

            The counterweight literally functions to balance the equally heavy electric motor.  This electric motor drives the very heavy gearbox that is attached to the steel inner tub.

  1. The Fill Valve

             This compartment of the washing machine is sometimes called as the water inlet valve.  This is just about the size of a coffee cup which controls the entry of hot and cold water into the machine.  The fill valve can be broken down into three major components: (1) a hot-water solenoid, (2) a cold-water solenoid, and (3) a mixing valve body.  Correspondingly, the inlet valve utilizes three hoses for its three major components respectively. 

            When electricity flows to one or both solenoids, water flows through the valve into the washing machine's inner tub. When the electricity stops, the water also stops (repairclinic.com).


  1. The Tubs

            The washing machine has two steel tubs inside the machine – the inner tub and the outer tub.  The inner tub is the one that holds the clothes.  In most of the contemporary washing machines, the inner tub has several small holes that allow the passage and flow of water through an outer tub.  It has an agitator in the middle of it, and the sides are perforated with holes so that when the tub spins, the water can leave.  The inner tub is attached to the gearbox, which is also attached to the black metal frame that holds the motor and the concrete weight. 

The Outer Tub

The outer tub, on the other hand, is a solid compartment that holds seals in all the water and is bolted to the body of the washer.  For the reason that the inner tub vibrates and shakes during the wash cycle, it has to be accumulated in a way that lets it move around without banging into other parts of the machine.

  1. Clutch and Brake Mechanism

Motors can start up and reach full speed in a second or less, which is too fast for many of the components the motor drives.  For this reason, most washing machines use an automatic clutch to dampen the effect of the motor starting up.

            On some washing machines, the clutch is just a combination of the drive belt slipping temporarily on a pulley and gradually tightening. On other units, the clutch is more like one you would find in a car--it uses a drum-and-pad combination of components.

When the lid is raised on a top-loading washing machine, some functions cease. On all machines the spin cycle stops, which brings the drum to a rapid halt. Many units use a special braking mechanism to stop the spinning inner tub. It is similar in design to the brakes on a car.

  1. Motor Coupler and Belt

A few types of washing machines use a coupler to connect the motor directly to the transmission.  It makes the connection without the need for a belt. The coupler is a rubber disc ½ inch thick by 1-½ inches in diameter, sandwiched between two plastic sprockets.  Many other washing machines use belts to connect the motor to the transmission or pump. A belt is a black, rubber, continuous rope-like component--usually a loop of about 24 to 30 inches.

The belt provides a desirable "weak link" in a washing machine. That is, if the tub or agitator were to become stuck or jammed, the belt is more likely to fail, which would preserve the transmission and other critical components

  1. The Central Agitator

            This part of the washing machine spins around clockwise and counterclockwise at about three-fourths of a revolution dipping the clothes through the water to wash them.  The clothes keep moving from the top of the tub down to the bottom and back again.  This motion allows the detergent and water to reach every part of the clothing and loosens the soil (repairclinic.com).

  1. The Gearbox

The gearbox is one of the coolest parts of the washing machine.  If you spin the pulley on the gearbox one way, the inner shaft turns slowly back and forth, reversing direction about every half-revolution.  If you spin the pulley the other way, the flange spins at high speed, spinning the whole tub with it.

Gearbox Agitation Mechanism

Here we can see a gear with a link attached to it. This link is just like the one attached to an old steam train wheel -- as the gear (along with the link) turns, it pushes another pie-shaped piece of gear back and forth.  This pie-shaped gear engages a small gear on the inner shaft, which leads to the spline.  In addition to rotating the inner shaft in alternating directions, there are other gears within the system that provide a gear reduction to slow the rotation.  Because the motor spins only at one speed, spin-cycle speed, a gear reduction is necessary to facilitate the slower wash cycle.

Gear Reduction

When the washer goes into spin cycle, the whole mechanism locks up, causing everything to spin at the same speed as the input, which is hooked up to the motor. The interesting thing here is that when the motor spins the gearbox in one direction, the agitator runs, and when it spins it the other way, the whole machine locks up. How does it do this?

In the figure above, notice the gear with the angled teeth.  There is also a smaller gear with angled teeth behind the big one in the foreground.  These are the only two gears with angled teeth.  Depending on which way the gears are spinning, the angle on the teeth will tend to force the inner gear to slide either to the left or to the right inside the gearbox. If it slides to the left, it engages a mechanism that locks up the gearbox (repairclinic.com).


B.   Major Systems

  1. Cable-and-pulley support system

The picture above shows just the black metal frame, without the tub or gearbox. The cable that you see on the left side of the picture is the other end of the same cable that you see on the right side.  There are a total of three pulleys, so that if one side of the frame moves up, the other side moves down.  This system supports the weight of the heavy components, letting them move in such a way as not to shake the entire machine (howstuffworks.com).

  1. Vibration-Damping System

            This system is also referred to as vibration-damping system that prevents the heavy compartments from swinging around through the use of friction in absorbing some of the force from the vibrations. 

In each of the four corners of the machine is a mechanism that works a little like a disc brake. The part attached to the washer frame is a spring. It squeezes two pads against the metal plate that is attached to the black frame. You can see where the pads have polished the plate from movement during vibration (howstuffworks.com).

C.     Controls

    1. Cycle Switch

Cycle Switch

            The cycle switch functions in determining how long the different parts of the cycle last.  Inside the switch is a little motor equipped with a very large gear reduction that makes the control dial turn very slowly. In the top half of the switch, there is a set of six contacts.  These are actuated by the small pieces of metal in the plastic arm on the dial. As the dial spins, bumps on the dial raise and lower the six metal pieces, which close and open the contacts in the top half of the switch.

Inside the Cycle Switch

    1. Speed and Temperature Control Switches

            These switches are much simpler than that of the cycle control switch.  These switches control the speed of the motor and determine which of the hot/cold water supply solenoids will open during the wash and the rinse cycles. If hot is selected, only the hot water solenoid valve will open when the machine fills; if warm is selected, both will open; and if cold is selected; only the cold water solenoid valve will open.

The speed/temperature control is pretty simple.  Each plastic rocker engages two sets of contacts, either opening or closing the circuit connected to those contacts.  For each switch, there is always one closed and one open set of contacts.

Speed and Temperature Control Switches

    1. Water Level Control Switch

            The level sensor uses a pressure switch to detect the water level in the tub.  This water level control switch controls how high the tub fills with water.

Water level control switch

Water level control switch plumbing

The big end of the hose connects to the bottom of the tub, while the small end connects to the switch.  As the water level in the tub rises, water rises in the hose also; but the air in the hose is trapped, so as the water rises, the air is compressed. 

Inside the housing of this switch is a little piston.  The pressure in the hose pushes the piston up.  When it is raised far enough, it pops up and closes an electrical contact. This set point, where the contact is lost, is adjustable, and in the picture you can see the cam mechanism that is connected to the adjuster knob on the control panel of the washer. As the cam turns, it presses a spring against the cylinder, making it harder for the cylinder to pop up. This means that the water level will have to rise some more before the pressure in the hose will be high enough to trigger the switch (howstuffworks.com).


    1. Timer and selector switches

The timer switch is usually the largest dial on the main control panel.  It can be either a mechanical device much like a simple clock, or completely electronic with just a digital readout.  The timer runs the washing machine in a pre-determined pattern. It provides the electricity to all of the washing machine components at the correct time and for the correct length of time.

The Start switch is usually part of the timer knob.  When you set the timer to the proper cycle, you either pull or push the timer knob to start the cycle.  The selector switches or knobs vary from machine to machine.  Most washing machines have one or several switches or knobs on the control panel besides the Timer/Start switch.  These let you adjust certain settings; for example, the water temperature, spins speed, timer cycle, and so on.  Normally, the washing machine completes the cycle selected on the timer, regardless of how you set these switches and knobs.


IV. Summary and Conclusion:

            In summing it up, there are seven major components stated and described according to their specific functions.  Each of them coordinates with other parts in the proper functioning of the washing machine.  Additionally, the two systems that have been developed are for the support and safety of the machine as it operates. 

Washing machine as the given appliance of study is such an ideal one for engineering learning.  The major components of the machine give the basics of how things work inside a washing machine.  Not many of the people using the machine have an idea of how it works but at least with this paper users are provided with knowledge about the specifics of the machine they are using.  The most important matter to be recognized in knowing about this particular machine is its safety features that go along with its ease of use. 





Nice, K n.d. How Washing Machines Work, Howstuffworks.com, viewed 20 April 2006 from http://home.howstuffworks.com/washer7.htm.


RepairClinic.com. How Washing Machines Work. Viewed 20 April 2006 from http://www.repairclinic.com/0088_11_3.asp.

The Expansion of the Economic of China


The expansion of the economic aspect of the country of China has been under the observation of a lot of analysts. On its way to becoming among the superpowers of the modern world, the economic development that has been taking place in the said country may appear to be a threat in the neighbouring regions with regards to foreign direct investments. However, upon probing deeper in the situation, one could surmise that this is not the case. The following discussions will present that the existence of the Chinese development does not affect the countries in the Southeast Asian region. Discussion with regards to its historical dealings, foreign policies, and regional plans will be among the bases of establishing of the position of this paper regarding the issue of China and FDI of Southeast Asia.      




China's affairs with Southeast Asia have grown to be ever closer. China's return to Southeast Asia is not merely history replicating itself. In the end, the tenure of the 'Son of Heaven' has departed long ago, and China no longer perceives itself as the centre of humankind. (Stuart-Fox, 2003) The Middle Kingdom is dwelling in a new world with novel strategic objectives. Its global perspective and method to Southeast Asia have to transform. China's affairs with Southeast Asia have been well documented. What is prominent as an important strong point of the work of Stuart-Fox (2003) is its effort to recognize what it labelled as the 'international relations culture' that takes into account the principles, standards, and prospects concerning the appropriate accomplishment of international relations. Conventional Chinese international affairs traditions were anchored on the Chinese perspective that is looked into at the beginning of Stuart-Fox's (2003) study. Traditionally, the Chinese perspective of the world highlighted the harmony of Heaven, Earth and people, the authority of the emperor and the conviction that barbarians would be represented by the means of the emperor to distinguish the dominance of Chinese society and the cosmic standing of the emperor. The acknowledgment was represented by the tributary system. This is characterized as a system where barbarians respectfully tender their tribute at Chinese court and appreciatively acquiring presents in return.


This tributary system prevailed over China's affairs with Southeast Asia up until the later part of the nineteenth century, when China was considerably frail to defend against Western incursion and Southeast Asia developed into colonies of European powers. (Stuart-Fox, 2003) Moreover, the tributary system was not actually onerous for Southeast Asian polities. It similarly indicated that China as an empire stretched out but was not predominantly in an expansionist level.


Moreover, China's global relations traditions in the years of the Cold War developed from its past. Being 'a civilisation whose pretensions to superiority are deeply embedded in the national psyche', (Stuart-Fox, 2003) China was intending to develop into an international great power and to resume international ranking and deference. It required to be acknowledged as such within its individual direct field of influence. The People's Republic, similar to empire China historically, similarly had faith in the authority and dominance of Chinese paradigm. Traditionally, it was the good worth of the emperor that granted the ultimate model. During the Cold War, it was China's radical revolutionary, communist agenda that prevailed. Moral dominance was another historical component that continued to have an effect on China's foreign policy. Its Bandung directive of co-existence and non-intrusion in the dealings of other nations and later procedures of anti-hegemonism were declared as moral standards. This historical perception of China's global affairs traditions does give some explanation on China's participation in the two Indo-China wars and its sustenance for revolutionary actions in Southeast Asia.


That account still functions a huge part in today's affairs involving China and Southeast Asia is apparent in discussion of 'bilateral relations regimes'. Even supposing that early regimes were determined by China, they were acknowledged by Southeast Asian governing leaders. (Stuart-Fox, 2003) The development of bilateral affairs regimes anchored on not only a happenstance of interests but similarly a level of concurrence of worldviews and mutual historical knowledge. Alongside this setting, Southeast Asian nations will not adhere to a balance-of-power alliance to control China and will together favour accommodation with China. (Stuart-Fox, 2003)




Based on the previous discussion, there has been historical basis on the affairs of China and the Southeast Asian region. This entails the creation of such policies on the part of China. It appears that the Chinese leadership is satisfied with the balance of power scheme on the part of the Southeast Asian countries. The subsequent efforts to preserve and uphold a balanced relationship with the United States, Japan, and China; together, it evades abandoning other countries such as Russia and India. (Cheng, 1999) This ASEAN plan assists to put off any key power, counting the United States, from controlling the Asia-Pacific region in terms of trade. This is in proportion to China's strategic concerns given that China does not have the wherewithal and consequently the purpose to develop into the major authority in regional affairs. Therefore, China receives the ASEAN's balance of power scheme and espouses the regional organization in participating in a dynamic position in the Asia-Pacific region.


In addition, Chinese leaders recognize China and the ASEAN countries as developing nations in Asia; they have a substantial sense of shared identity; and they possess comparable perspectives on values, human rights, democracy, and several concerns in global relations. Therefore, they should be capable of lending a hand, present each other aid, and equally be in opposition to hegemonism and power politics. Chinese leaders do not deem that ASEAN will turn out to be a component of a coalition intended to controlling China. In its place, ASEAN's dynamic diplomatic profile is perceived as easing the progress on the direction of multipolarity in the Asia-Pacific region, and causative to regional permanence. (Cheng, 1999) Furthermore, ASEAN is alleged as functioning as a balance in the middle of the United States, Japan, and China and as a force evening out in this triangular association. Similarly, the ASEAN will also assist to discourage the hegemonism of Western powers in the area, in so doing lessening the latter's stress on China and convalescing the diplomatic setting for it.




China's regional aims in Southeast Asia seem to be connected to China's general strategic stance. Even as some analysts acquire a "zero sum" technique to mounting Chinese authority and American power in the region, others involve the highlighting in China on the strategy of a "peaceful rise" or "peaceful development" and acquire a more benevolent outlook of China's objects, both internationally and inside a regional background in Southeast Asia. China's quiet increase possibly stands for a major departure from previous policy which intended to wear away America's control in the region. (Sutter, 2004) Confirmation of Chinese restlessness with America's attendance in Asia carries on. To some Chinese observers America's long-drawn-out global posture ever since the September 11 terror attacks has brought about an American squeeze of China. Others acquire a perspective that China's foreign policy on the direction Southeast Asia is an offshoot of its conventional imperial tribute system.


Ever since the middle part of the 90s, China has been aggressively looking to expand its connection with Southeast Asia by means of more accommodating approaches. This is chiefly obvious in the episode from the financial crisis of 97. (Stuart-Fox, 2003) Similarly, China's 2002 agreement to the ASEAN code of conduct on disagreements in the South China Sea, the change in importance to ASEAN in addition to China, Japan and South Korea, as against the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) structure which takes account of the US, and progress on the direction of an ASEAN-China Free Trade region all signify a basic change in the affairs involving China and ASEAN. (Stuart-Fox, 2003) This highlighting on economic and diplomatic relationships is a major variation from earlier military confrontation as confirmed by past border and territorial disagreements. China's deeds point to some that it is concerned in more than merely extended economic and trade connections with the region.




Regardless of substantial concerns in policy spheres that a boost in foreign direct investment flow to China is to the detriment of other regional economies, it has been established that those economies can essentially take advantage from it. (Chantasasawat, Fung, Iizaka, Siu, 2004) This may possibly be connected to the production networking actions among Asian nations in addition to the augmented resource demand by a rising China. The proof of production-networking among China and other Asian economies can be established in the extensive two-way trade of intermediate and final goods in the similar industries among those nations. The Table below summarizes the FDI of China from the early seventies to the recent years.


Table 1. Contracted and Realized Foreign Direct Investment, 1979-2002

(Source Chantasasawat, Fung, Iizaka, Siu, 2004, 6)



A lot of the nations observed in the study of Chantasasawat, Fung, Iizaka, Siu (2004) are greatly concerned in vertical specialization which can be perceived in the allocation of two-way trade in the similar industry in the whole quantity of trade among the states. The economic connections of mutual reliance among them have been getting deeper swiftly since the 90s. The importance of the effect of the development of China in the context of FDI inflows to this group of Asian states may reveal such interdependence. (Chantasasawat, Fung, Iizaka, Siu, 2004)  Thus a boost in China's FDI is certainly and considerably connected to FDI inflows in other Asian countries. It is thus observed that until now the investment-developing consequences prevail over the investment-diversion impact so that on the whole, China is a positive power for FDI inflows into other Asian nations with regards to their economy.


The minor consequence of trade liberalization of the Asian states on the inflow of FDI can be in excess of double of that of the effect of the economic development in China. Trade obstacles can acquire a variety of shapes like local content conditions, technology transfer conditions, domestic sales and export prerequisites. This connotes that decreases in the different kinds of trade obstructions can take part in a crucial function in developing FDI to those states. (Chantasasawat, Fung, Iizaka, Siu, 2004) In general, issues that have an effect on the FDI inflows into Southeast Asia are the positive impact of the economic development China, policy variables like the level of openness to trade and the excellence of infrastructure and the world provision of the FDI. Moreover, the overriding indicators of the Asian economies' components of FDI into all developing nations are the unconstructive effects the economic development in China, policy variables like openness to trade, corporate tax charges and infrastructure in addition to the institutional issue of government firmness.




China requires a peaceful global setting to focus on economic progress. Therefore, the Chinese leadership favours a multipolar world in which the superpowers can build up responsive relations with each other and in which non-zero-sum competitions are the standard. Both China and ASEAN mean to function a more noteworthy role in the Asia-Pacific region and in the international community, particularly in the UN. Their quests are a non-zero-sum competition and can be equally helpful. The Asia-Pacific region requires efficient agents in intercessions with the Western nations and in a variety of global organizations. China and ASEAN, on the strength of close bilateral and regional discussions, can carry out that task jointly. In spite of everything, they have no purpose of separating each other in regional matters, and they do not have the objective and aspiration of acquiring a major leadership position in the region.






Chantasasawat, B., Fung, K., Iizaka, H., Siu, A. (2004) FDI Flows to Latin America, East and Southeast Asia and China: Substitutes or Complements?. Available in: repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?article=1052&context=ucscecon. [Accessed 17 April, 2006]

Cheng, J. (1999) China's ASEAN Policy in the 1990s: Pushing for Regional Multipolarity. Contemporary Southeast Asia. 21 (2)

Stuart-Fox, M. (2003) A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade and Influence. Allen & Unwin. Crows Nest, N.S.W.

Sutter, R. (2004) "Asia in the Balance: America and China's "Peaceful Rise," Current History, Sept.



February 11, 2010

Dilemma of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Developing Countries


Technological advancements and innovations have been dictating the turn of the present modern civilization. The current setting at present upholds an environment that answers to the global needs of the world. Collectivism in the concept of global community has been the popular ideal for the last couple of years wherein development and progress of nations are becoming more and more dependent to each other. Internationalization of industries is now the current trend amongst business organizations in its aim to increase market share and accumulate larger profit. However, this is not always the case especially among nations with poor living quality which at present cannot go hand in hand with the more economically progressive and developed nations.


Countries living in the poverty line have long been exhausting means and resources to alleviate the living conditions of its people. Third world countries in particular have been in the hopes of gaining economic stability that will assure the future of the descendants of today's population. These nations at present place their stakes in the market entrance of foreign investors that provide capital for local business ventures that will employ the people in the locality. In the past decades, most especially after the Tsunami disaster and hitherto Dafur crisis, we have seen a new agitation and concern by the international communities to come to the aid of poverty striking communities and/or countries by increasing foreign aid and debt cancellation. The aftermath of this disaster has brought to the fore the need for all the stakeholders in the globalized world to act to restore confidence and stability in the world system.


The World Trade Organization (WTO)

The WTO's institutional directive is obviously indicated in its instituting charter, the 1994 Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement). The introduction of this global agreement highlights that the aims of the WTO are that trade and economic connections among WTO Members are supposed to be carried out with an outlook to elevating the standards of living, guaranteeing full employment and a great and progressively developing degree of real income and efficient demand, and increasing the construction of and trade in goods and services, at the same time as permitting for the most favorable utilization of the world's resources in line with the purpose of sustainable development, looking for both to look after and conserve the environment and to improve the means for doing so in a approach in agreement with their individual needs and concerns at diverse levels of economic growth" (WTO Agreement, 1st preambular clause).


Furthermore, developing and particularly the least developed among them, secure an allocation in the development in international trade corresponding with the requirements of their economic growth (WTO Agreement, 2nd preambular clause). Briefly, the principal purpose of the WTO is to double as the instrument through which global trade can turn out to be the means for sustaining the economic growth of Members, specifically the developing and least-developed Members. The economic growth of developing nations, and the employment of trade to attain such growth, has been a very old intention of the multilateral trading system and of the global governance construction of which the WTO is an element (The 2001 WTO Doha Ministerial Declaration, paras. 2 and 3). This intention is ultimately entrenched in the entitlement of individuals to take pleasure in higher standards of living, complete employment, and states of economic and social growth and progress" (United Nations Charter, art. 55(a)) in agreement with the right to sustainable development under international law (The 2000 United Nations General Assembly Millennium Declaration, para. 11).


Developing Countries

Developing countries, similarly labeled to as less developed, underdeveloped or Third world countries can be characterized by several major determinants (Narlikar, 2003). These includes economic underdevelopment, articulated in low Gross Domestic Product (GDP), imbalanced division of income, poor infrastructure and low energy utilization; social underdevelopment articulated as low Human Development Index and political underdevelopment, conveyed as the deficiency justifiable, responsible, convincing and reasonable government.


Under current WTO customs, there are a couple of categorizations of developing countries. One is Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as characterized by the United Nations, and other developing countries, which are self-declared (WTO, 2005). Self-declaration has brought about a condition whereby a number of countries with per capita incomes over $9,385, which is the World Bank's ceiling for low-income country positions, are provided for with Special and Differential treatment. The International Policy Council on the other hand, has its own classification of countries (International Policy Council, Food and Agricultural Trade). These include Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Lower Middle Income Developing Countries (LMIDCs), and Upper Middle Income Developing Country (UMIDCs). The LDCs are characterized by the IPC as countries with per capita income under $900. LMIDCs on the other hand, are defined by the IPC as those with gross national per capita within the means of $901 and $3, 035. This is comparable to the World Bank's definition of middle income developing countries with gross national income per capita of $765 and $3, 035. And the UMIDCs adopted the World Bank definition as the nations with gross national income per capita within $3, 035 and $9, 385. 


Dilemmas of WTO and Developing Countries

Globalization of both the economy and the society has confronted the world over the past decade (Kim & Weaver, 2000; Ohmae, 1990; Naisbitt & Aburdene, 1990). Among the important contributors to world confederacy and the global economy are the advances in computerization, telecommunications, and other forms of information technology. A shift of focus and interest from the local market to the international setting has demanded innovation not just in corporate leadership as new information, forms of communication, and technology. These are being offered to be utilized in encouraging and reinforcing interaction among individuals and the operating enterprise.


Since globalization represents the shift of the main venue of capital accumulation from the national to the supranational or global level (Teeple, 2000) and due to the adverse effects of such phenomenon, international businesses plan to venture into new horizons catering to the needs of the new markets and countries. Over the past half century, the developing countries have grappled with their relationship to the world trading system, the role of their trade policies in their economic growth, and the influence of the world economy on their prospects for growth (Krueger, 1995). The eventual recognition of the developing states and their contribution to the world economy enable firms to expand and apply their operations to such countries.


A major and foremost disadvantage for developing countries in acceding to the WTO is their capacity to be heard in the decision making of the organization. Issues and proposals for restructurings in the WTO's decision-making processes increased in eminence first following the fall down of the 1999 Seattle Ministerial Conference, on account of which Members undertook to have debates associated to internal transparency and involvement. The last foremost formal debate among Members on these concerns transpired for the duration of the July 2000 assembly of the General Council. Throughout that gathering, the then-General Council Chairman, Ambassador Kare Bryn of Norway, required to recognize, anchored on his discussions with Members, what he sensed were the typical of the debates (WTO, September 2000) with regards to internal accountability and involvement towards acquiring a consensus (WTO, February 2001).


Succeeding WTO procedure-associated documents, like the TNC Negotiating Principles and Practices (WTO, February 2002) and the draft manuscript of the Procedures for the Appointment of Directors-General have indicated to Ambassador Bryn's declarations as pinpointing of "best practices" in the context of internal accountability and the involvement of Members in decision-making in the WTO (WTO, February 2003). Nonetheless, a number of Members have carried on expressing reluctance, exemptions, prerequisites or commentaries relating to Ambassador Bryn's declaration (WTO, July 2002). This successfully denotes that there is no consensus, particularly from developing nations, on the points acknowledged by Ambassador Bryn as "best practices" for WTO decision-making procedures with regard to internal accountability and the involvement of Members.


Official WTO decision-making processes are presided over by Article IX of the WTO Agreement. Consensus decision-making is profoundly entrenched in the WTO decision-making arrangement (Narlikar, 2001), and has its origins in GATT 1947 decision-making procedures (WTO Agreement, Art. IX.1). Article IX.1 of the WTO Agreement specifically points out that an inclination for consensus decision-making above that of conventional majority voting (Steinberg, 2002). Consensus is characterized in the WTO Agreement as the organization involved shall be believed to have made a decision by consensus on an issue presented for its consideration, if no Member, in attendance at the assembly when the decision is obtained, officially opposes to the suggested decision (WTO Agreement, Art. IX.1). The description of consensus in Article IX.1 of the WTO Agreement rests significance on the actual and learned or informed attendance of a Member's delegate throughout the meeting in which the decision is completed; and the compliance of such Member, throughout the meeting, to officially and clearly point out that it is in opposition to consensus on the suggested decision. In this type of "passive" consensus, both nonattendance from the assembly and silence or non-objection throughout the assembly are corresponding to joining in the recommended consensus.


The consensus-based decision-making form under Article IX.1 of the WTO Agreement efficiently obstructs developing nations from getting the best of their equal position with industrial nations by means of the one-country one-vote arrangement which denies them of the advantages of prescribed voting and can work in opposition to them even supposing they hold the majority outlook on a subject" (UNDP, 2003). Conversely, consensus-based decision-making has similarly facilitated developing nations in a number of cases to efficiently stress their right to be heard in GATT and WTO decision-making (Steinberg, 2002). The most recent instances were in Seattle (1999), when a collection of African, Caribbean, and Latin American states opposed to their marginalization from the decision-making procedures that transpired for the duration of that ministerial conference and affirmed that they could not adhere in any consensus coming up from such defective procedure. It is also reflected in Cancun (2003), when Members could not arrive to a consensus on the subject of whether negotiations on the "Singapore issues" (Steinberg, 2002) were to have effect subsequent to the ministerial conference, in consequence of which Ministerial Conference Chair Minister Derbez of Mexico came to a decision that consensus could not be acquired and chose to adjourn the conference.


However, given the capacity and resource constraints that many developing countries face in terms of their representation and participation in the WTO's day-to-day business in Geneva, developing countries might not be able to fully maximize the potential of the consensus decision-making approach indicated in Article IX.1 of the WTO Agreement in guaranteeing that their outlook and points of view are unmistakably attended to and completely emulated in the concluding outcomes of the procedure. To deal with the underperformances of the existing "passive" consensus regulation in the WTO, Members could probably aim to spell out the manner through which consensus could be put across.


An "active" consensus could be sought after that would necessitate an active approval by all Members of the suggestion under debate, rather than merely the lack of opposition (Narlikar, 2003). This change requires being in addition to sufficient and understandable stipulation of information to all Members of the time and program of meetings in which such "active" consensus is required. "Active" consensus can be perceived as a feasible option to that of the "passive" consensus as indicated in Footnote 1 of Article IX.1, or to that of majority ballot under the final sentence of Article IX.1 of the WTO Agreement. The Ministerial Conference, or the General Council in the interim linking assemblies of the Ministerial Conference, can officially generate such an alternative ways of decision-making under Article IX.1 of the WTO Agreement without having to make changes with the WTO Agreement by merely simplifying the form through which Members can articulate their consensus.


Actually, there are previously instances in the WTO for changing from "passive" to "active" consensus. For instance, the prerequisite of "explicit consensus" under the 1996 and 2001 WTO Ministerial Declarations relating to conclusions on the subject of the commencement of negotiations, and on modalities for concessions (The 1996 WTO Singapore Ministerial Declaration), of Singapore concerns efficiently needs Members to attain "active" in place of "passive" consensus (The 2001 WTO Doha Ministerial Declaration). These indications are understandable suggestions on the side of the Ministerial Conference that the "passive" consensus decrees in Article IX.1, footnote 1, of the WTO Agreement, is supposed to, for reasons of coming to a decision on Singapore concerns, be adapted. Specifically, Members' approval to the commencement of negotiations on Singapore concerns on top of to the modalities for such negotiations have got to be "explicit" – particularly enthusiastically, unmistakably and decidedly articulated or communicated. Silence or non-objection must not, as a result, be accounted as consent. The commonplace connotation (1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties) of the concept of "explicit" is that it conspicuously articulates all that is represented; leaving nothing simply indirect or suggested (Oxford English Dictionary). Being "explicit" is becoming exact in communication with such spoken directness and clarity that there is no need for supposition and no space for complexity in comprehending (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). The Ministerial Conference's conditions for "explicit consensus" with regard to verdicts concerning the initiation of Singapore concern negotiations and their modalities, for that reason, are precedent-establishing "active" consensus prerequisites in the WTO framework. Therefore, while keeping hold of consensus as the foundation of WTO decision-making and the underpinning of the legitimacy of its imperatives and agreements for all Members, it may possibly be practical for Members to spell out consensus via decision-making in the WTO as necessitating "active" more willingly than "passive" consensus.



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