In December 1993, after seven years of negotiations, GATT reached an agreement between 117 countries, including the United States. This round took place in Uruguay and was therefore called the Uruguay Round. The Final Act, which embodies the outcome of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, is the Uruguay Round agreement, which was signed in April 1994. In this agreement, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was created. The WTO is the organization that affirms the agreement, and it also started the current round in Doha. To join the WTO now, a nation must apply to become a member. The WTO currently has 164 members. Measured by the combined GDP of its members, the trading bloc was the largest in the world in 2010. NAFTA has two additions: the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation (NAALC). The objective of NAFTA was to remove barriers to trade and investment between the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a multilateral agreement governing international trade. According to its preamble, its objective is “the substantial reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade and the elimination of preferences on a mutually beneficial basis”. GATT was negotiated at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and was the result of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITU). The GATT was signed in 1947 and lasted until 1993, when it was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. The original text of the GATT (GATT 1947) remains in force within the framework of the WTO, subject to the amendments to the GATT 1994. The GATT contained three main provisions. The most important requirement was that each member should give each other most-favoured-nation status. All members must be treated equally with respect to rates. It excluded special customs duties among members of the British Commonwealth and the Customs Union. It allowed customs duties if their removal caused serious injury to domestic producers. Prior to the introduction of the Gatt/World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on 1 July 1995, variable import levies were levied on imports from third countries. These duties are now subject to customs duties, i.e.
converted into a fixed duty payable in euro per tonne or as a percentage of the import price. Under the agreement, rates were reduced by an average of 36% compared to the base period from 1986 to 1988. In addition, the GATT/WTO Agreement provides for minimum quotas for access to imports at reduced rates equivalent to 5 for the amount of consumption during the reference period. In addition, the European Union is required to grant access to New Zealand butter at a particularly low rate. This amount corresponds to the average amount that New Zealand spends each year in the United Kingdom under bilateral agreements during the GATT and WTO base period. Within the framework of its GATT and WTO commitments, the European Union has concluded a number of bilateral agreements aimed at facilitating market access on a reciprocal basis. For example, there are special quotas for the United States, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, South Africa and others. A common market is the first step towards a single market and may initially be limited to a free trade area. Tariffs have been the main obstacle to international trade. Therefore, gatt encouraged negotiations on tariff reduction Hig4, participating countries agreed to reduce tariffs on thousands of industrial products.
The tariff reduction was carried out on a reciprocal and mutually beneficial basis. Article 11 of the GATT provided that all concessions granted by the Contracting Parties were to be included in a schedule of concessions. .