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The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had far-reaching objectives: full employment, higher standards of living, growth of real income and expanded production and trade. With the World Trade Organization (WTO) came the added goal of the optimal use of the world's resources in accordance with sustainable development. Taken together, these objectives on the part of more than 150 governments have created for the WTO a vast area of diverse responsibilities. The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) raises a number of ethical questions, such as the patenting of life forms, the rewarding of indigenous tribes for the exploitation of local genetic resources and the provision of essential medicines to impoverished people.
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