Gatt Functions And Agreements

Gatt introduced the most-favoured-nation principle into customs agreements between members. For the most part, agriculture has been excluded from previous agreements, as it has been granted special status in the areas of import quotas and export subsidies, with slight reservations. However, at the time of the Uruguay Round, many countries felt that the exception for agriculture was so blatant that they refused to sign a new agreement without agricultural products without movement. These fourteen countries were known as the “Cairns Group” and consisted mainly of small and medium-medium-largest agricultural exporters such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia and New Zealand. After the Second World War, the distorting effects of non-trade barriers in world trade were less. The Tokyo Round, which took place between 1973 and 1979, addressed the problems of non-tariff barriers in a more effective international discipline. All agreements provide for special and more favourable treatment for developing countries. The negotiations resulted in the following non-tariff measures: although GATT is a legal agreement, it acts as an organization. Eight rounds of negotiations have been concluded and the current round, the Doha Development Round, began in 2001 and is still not complete. The summit almost resulted in a third organization.

It should become the international trade organization (ITO), very ambitious. The 50 countries that started negotiations wanted it to be an agency within the United Nations that creates rules, not only for trade, but also for employment, agreements on raw materials, trade practices, foreign direct investment and services. The ITO Charter was adopted in March 1948, but the U.S. Congress and legislators in some other countries refused to ratify it. In 1950, the Truman administration declared defeat and completed the ITO. While the GATT was a set of rules agreed upon by nations, the WTO is an intergovernmental organization with its own headquarters and staff, and its scope encompasses trade in goods, trade in the services sector and intellectual property rights. Although intended to serve as multilateral agreements, plurilateral agreements have resulted in selective trade and fragmentation of members in several rounds of GATT negotiations (notably Tokyo). WTO agreements are generally a multilateral GATT resolution mechanism. [24] Created in 1947 with a treaty signed by 23 countries, GATT became international law on January 1, 1948. It remained one of the priorities of international trade agreements until it was replaced by the WTO on 1 January 1995. At that time, 125 nations were signatories to the agreements, which covered about 90 percent of world trade.

APEC is examining the prospects and options for an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP) that would encompass all APEC member countries. Since 2006, the APEC Business Advisory Council, which promotes the theory that a free trade area has the best chance of bringing member states closer together and ensuring stable economic growth within the framework of free trade, has committed to establishing a high-level task force to study and develop a free trade area plan. The proposed free trade agreement arose from the lack of progress in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations and a way to overcome the spaghetti bowl effect generated by overlapping and contradictory elements in the dozens of free trade agreements. There are about sixty free trade agreements, 117 others are in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. Gatt entered into force in January.