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General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade (GATT)

During great depression of 1930s the international trade was badly affected and various countries impose import restrictions for safeguarding their economies. This resulted in a sharp decline in the world trade. In 1945, USA put forward many proposals for extending international trade an employment. On October 30, 1947, 23 countries at Geneva, signed an agreement related to tariffs imposed on trade. This agreement is known as General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It came into force on January 1, 1948. Initially GATT was established in the form of a temporary arrangement but later on it took the shape of a permanent agreement. GATTs headquarter was in Geneva.
 
On December 12, 1995, GATT was abolished and replaced by World Trade Organisation (WTO) which came into existence on January 1, 1995.

Objectives of GATT

  1. To provide equal opportunities to all countries in international market for trading purpose without any favour.
  2. To increase the effective demand for real income growth and goods.
  3. To minimize tariffs and other restrictions on trade for ensuring mutual benefits and to eliminate favours from international trade.
  4. To provide amicable solution to the disputes related to international trade by giving co-operation and advices to member countries.
  5. To ensure a better living standards in the world as a whole.

GATT Rounds

Round

 Year

Venue

Issues and Outcomes

I

II

III

IV

V (Dillion Round)

VI (Kenedy Round)

VII (Tokyo Round)

VIII (Uruguay Round)

1947

1949

1950-51

1956

1960-61

1964-67

1973-79

1986-93

Geneva (Switzerland)

Anesi (France)

Torquay (England)

Geneva

Geneva

Geneva

Geneva

Punta Del Este (Beginning in Uruguay and closing at Geneva)

Signature on first GATT agreement

Tariff reductions on specific products

Tariff reductions on specific products

Induction of European community for the first time and 20% tariff reduction

33% reduction in restrictions on manufactured goods

Non-tariff restrictions, etc.

Agriculture, Service, TRIPS, TRIMS related issues





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