The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT) was established on October 30, 1947, with the primary objective of promoting trade liberalization in international commerce. GATT served as a framework for regulating and reducing trade barriers among member nations, facilitating the free flow of goods and services across borders, and establishing a set of rules and guidelines to govern global trade.
GATT was created during a time when international trade was experiencing significant challenges due to trade barriers, protectionist policies, and tariff wars between countries. Its mission was to encourage countries to adopt free trade policies and reduce tariffs to stimulate economic growth and development.
The primary function of GATT was to provide a platform for negotiations among member countries to reduce trade barriers, including tariffs and non-tariff measures. Through various rounds of negotiations, GATT members agreed to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers, leading to significant increases in global trade.
The first GATT negotiations, known as the Geneva Round, were held in 1947, leading to the signing of the GATT agreement by 23 countries in 1948. The agreement was later expanded to include over 120 countries, and its provisions were updated and revised through additional rounds of trade negotiations.
One of the most significant achievements of GATT was the Uruguay Round, which was held from 1986 to 1994 and led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Uruguay Round resulted in the reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers among member countries, as well as the establishment of new rules and regulations governing global trade.
Today, the WTO serves as the primary body responsible for regulating and promoting global trade, building on the foundation established by GATT. Its mission is to ensure that trade flows freely, predictably, and transparently, promoting economic growth and development around the world.
In conclusion, the primary function of GATT was to promote trade liberalization and reduce trade barriers among member countries. Its work laid the foundation for the establishment of the WTO, which continues to serve as the primary governing body for international trade.