General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Example


General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is an international treaty that aims to promote international trade by reducing trade barriers, tariffs, and other barriers to trade. It provides a framework for negotiation and implementation of trade agreements among its member countries. GATT is a multilateral trade agreement that was signed in 1947 by 23 countries and was later replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.

One example of GATT in action is the Uruguay Round, which was a series of negotiations that took place between 1986 and 1994. The Uruguay Round resulted in the creation of the WTO and the signing of the WTO agreement in 1995. It was the most extensive and complex trade negotiation in history, involving more than 120 countries and covering a broad range of issues, including agriculture, services, intellectual property, and dispute settlement mechanisms.

One of the main outcomes of the Uruguay Round was the reduction of trade barriers, including tariffs. The average tariff on industrial goods was reduced from 6.3% in 1986 to 3.8% in 1999, while the average tariff on agricultural goods was reduced from 12% in 1986 to 5.6% in 1999. This reduction in tariffs has led to an increase in trade flows, which has benefited both developed and developing countries.

Another important outcome of the Uruguay Round was the creation of a multilateral dispute settlement system. The dispute settlement system is designed to resolve disputes between member countries in a fair and unbiased manner. This system has been successful in resolving many disputes, including the US-EU banana dispute and the US-Japanese semiconductor dispute.

GATT and its successor, the WTO, have also played a significant role in promoting economic development and reducing poverty in developing countries. The WTO provides technical assistance and training to developing countries to help them implement trade agreements and improve their trade-related infrastructure. The WTO also provides a platform for developing countries to negotiate trade agreements on an equal footing with developed countries.

In conclusion, GATT and the WTO have played a crucial role in promoting international trade, reducing trade barriers, and resolving trade disputes among member countries. The Uruguay Round is an excellent example of how these international agreements have helped to create a more open and fair trading system, benefiting both developed and developing countries. As we look to the future, it is essential that the WTO continues to promote free and fair trade, helping to create a more prosperous and equitable global economy.