Understanding the Purpose of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

The Fascinating Purpose of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

When it comes to international trade, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) plays a pivotal role in promoting fair and open trade between nations. I find purpose history GATT be intriguing important today`s global economy.

Understanding the Purpose of GATT

The primary purpose of GATT is to reduce barriers to international trade and promote smooth, predictable, and free trade among member countries. It aims to achieve this by negotiating reductions in tariffs, quotas, and other trade restrictions.

As of August 2018, there were 164 member countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO) which succeeded GATT. GATT had an extensive set of rules and regulations governing international trade, with the ultimate goal of fostering economic growth and development around the world.

Case Study: GATT and the Uruguay Round

One significant achievements GATT Uruguay Round, took place 1986 1994. This round of negotiations led to the creation of the WTO and resulted in a substantial reduction in tariffs and the establishment of new rules for international trade.

As a result of the Uruguay Round, the average tariff rates for industrial goods decreased from 6.3% 1995 3.8% in 2013, and the global trade volume increased significantly.

GATT Modern Economy

In today`s rapidly evolving global economy, GATT`s principles continue to be highly relevant. The organization`s commitment to open and fair trade is essential for fostering economic growth, reducing poverty, and promoting peace and stability among nations.

According to the WTO, the total value of world merchandise trade in 2018 was estimated to be $19.67 trillion. This staggering figure highlights the immense impact of international trade on the global economy and underscores the importance of organizations like GATT and the WTO in facilitating and regulating this trade.


The purpose and impact of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade are truly remarkable. By promoting open and fair trade, GATT has played a crucial role in shaping the modern global economy and fostering cooperation among nations. As we continue to navigate the complexities of international trade, it`s essential to recognize the invaluable contributions of organizations like GATT and the WTO.

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Statistics: World Merchandise Trade

Year Total Value (Trillions USD)
2016 16.05
2017 17.43
2018 19.67

Top 10 Legal Questions about General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Purpose

Question Answer
1. What is the purpose of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)? The purpose of GATT is to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas. It aims to create a more open and fair trading system, allowing countries to engage in commerce without undue restrictions.
2. How does GATT protect intellectual property rights? GATT provides a framework for the protection of intellectual property rights by establishing rules and standards for the treatment of patents, trademarks, and copyrights in international trade. It seeks to prevent unauthorized use and infringement of intellectual property across borders.
3. Can GATT be used to resolve disputes between member countries? Yes, GATT includes a dispute settlement mechanism that allows member countries to seek resolution for trade-related disputes through consultation, mediation, and arbitration. This helps maintain stability and fairness in international trade relations.
4. How does GATT address non-tariff barriers to trade? GATT addresses non-tariff barriers to trade by establishing guidelines for measures such as import licensing, product standards, and technical regulations. It aims to prevent these barriers from being used as unjustifiable obstacles to trade.
5. What role does GATT play in promoting economic development? GATT plays a crucial role in promoting economic development by facilitating access to global markets for developing countries, enabling them to expand their export opportunities and participate in international trade on more favorable terms.
6. Is GATT still relevant in today`s global economy? Absolutely! Despite the evolution of international trade agreements, GATT`s principles continue to influence the rules of global commerce and serve as a foundation for the World Trade Organization (WTO), which builds upon GATT`s legacy in addressing contemporary trade challenges.
7. How does GATT promote transparency in trade policies? GATT promotes transparency in trade policies by requiring member countries to notify the WTO of their trade measures and policies, allowing for greater visibility and understanding of each other`s trade practices, thus fostering a more open and predictable trading environment.
8. Can GATT be used to address environmental and labor concerns in international trade? Indeed, GATT recognizes the importance of environmental and labor standards in trade and provides a framework for addressing these concerns without compromising the principles of open and non-discriminatory trade, thus contributing to sustainable and ethical global commerce.
9. What are the key principles of GATT that guide its purpose and operation? The key principles of GATT include non-discrimination, reciprocity, and binding commitments, which aim to ensure fair and equitable treatment of all trading partners, promote mutual benefit, and create a rules-based system for international trade.
10. How does GATT influence the negotiation of trade agreements among member countries? GATT influences the negotiation of trade agreements among member countries by providing a framework of rules and disciplines that govern the conduct of trade relations, serving as a basis for multilateral, plurilateral, and bilateral trade negotiations and agreements.

International Trade Agreement

This General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is entered into on this [date] by and between the undersigned parties, in accordance with the laws and regulations governing international trade.

Article I: Definitions
In agreement, following terms shall have following meanings:

  • Parties: refers signatories agreement
  • Tariffs: refers taxes imposed imported exported goods
  • Trade: refers exchange goods services between countries
Article II: Purpose
The purpose of this agreement is to promote international trade, reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade, and ensure fair and equitable treatment of all parties involved. This agreement is intended to create a level playing field for all member countries and foster economic growth and development.
Article III: Tariff Reduction
Each party agrees to gradually reduce its tariffs on imported goods over a specified period of time, in accordance with the provisions of this agreement and any applicable international trade laws.
Article IV: Dispute Resolution
In the event of any dispute arising from the interpretation or application of this agreement, the parties shall seek to resolve the dispute through negotiations, mediation, or other peaceful means as provided for in the applicable laws and regulations.