General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, is a landmark multilateral trade agreement that was signed in 1947. It was created with the primary aim of promoting and increasing international trade by eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas. The agreement was eventually replaced in 1995 by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which oversees international trade and enforces the rules of trade between countries.

GATT consisted of a series of rounds of negotiations between member countries to reduce trade barriers. The first round of negotiations, held in Geneva in 1947, was the most significant of these rounds. The negotiations resulted in the signing of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which established the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, and the reduction of trade barriers.

One of the most significant achievements of GATT was the reduction of tariffs. Tariffs are taxes on goods imported into a country, which make these goods more expensive and less competitive with domestic goods. GATT succeeded in reducing tariffs significantly, which made it easier and more affordable for countries to trade with each other.

Another key achievement of GATT was the establishment of the Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) principle. MFN means that each member country must treat all other member countries equally. This principle aims to ensure that no country is given preferential treatment over any other country, which helps to promote fair and open trade.

GATT also created the framework for the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements between member countries. These agreements are important because they help to level the playing field for businesses and reduce trade barriers. They also provide a framework for resolving disputes between countries.

In conclusion, GATT was a landmark agreement that helped to promote international trade by reducing tariffs and other trade barriers. It established important principles, such as the Most-Favoured-Nation principle, that continue to shape the global economy today. While it was eventually replaced by the WTO, GATT remains an important historical achievement that paved the way for the modern global trading system.

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