The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a multilateral trade agreement that was signed on October 30, 1947. Its primary objective was to promote economic growth and stability by reducing trade barriers and increasing economic cooperation between nations.
The agreement established a set of rules and principles that govern international trade relations, including the elimination of discriminatory practices, the promotion of fair competition, and the protection of intellectual property rights.
One of the key objectives of GATT was to reduce tariffs, which are taxes imposed on imported goods. The agreement sought to lower tariffs on a reciprocal basis, whereby participating nations would reduce their tariffs on goods imported from other countries in exchange for similar reductions on their own exports.
Another objective of GATT was to eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade, such as quotas, import licensing requirements, and technical standards. These barriers can be used to restrict imports, protect domestic industries, or promote other policy goals. By eliminating or reducing these barriers, GATT aimed to promote greater market access and encourage international trade.
GATT also sought to provide a framework for resolving disputes between member nations. The agreement established procedures for resolving disputes through consultation, mediation, and arbitration. It also established a system for reviewing the trade policies of member nations to ensure that they were consistent with the principles of the agreement.
GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization in 1995, but its principles continue to guide international trade relations today. The WTO has continued to pursue the objectives of GATT, including reducing trade barriers, promoting fair competition, and resolving disputes between member nations.
In conclusion, GATT was a landmark agreement that helped to promote economic growth and stability by reducing trade barriers and increasing economic cooperation between nations. Its primary objectives were to reduce tariffs, eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade, and provide a framework for resolving disputes between member nations. Although it has been replaced by the WTO, its principles continue to be relevant and important in today`s global economy.