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An international organisation that regulates and facilitates global trade. Its membership (and the source of its operating budget) includes 164 countries, which comprise the parties in the vast majority of global trading relationships. Its goals are broadly to reduce barriers to trade such as tariffs and to ensure that trade occurs in a transparent, rule-governed system. It is simultaneously seen by some as an important vehicle for decreasing global economic inequality by encouraging free trade, and by others as an important contributor to global economic inequality by facilitating exploitative practices and the continued flow of capital into wealthy countries.