The General Agreement On Tariff And Trade

In addition to facilitating applied tariff reductions, the contribution of the FIRST GATT to trade liberalization includes „the commitment of negotiated tariff reductions for an extended period (more durable in 1955), the determination of the generalized nature of non-discrimination by most-favoured treatment (MFN) and the status of domestic treatment, the guarantee of greater transparency of trade policies and the establishment of a negotiating forum with a view to the peaceful settlement of bilateral disputes. All of these have contributed to streamlining trade policy and reducing trade barriers and political uncertainty. [4] The business management agreement has changed the way business decisions relating to agricultural products are made. Their main intention is to facilitate trade and prevent sanitary and phytosanitary measures from being used as unjustified barriers to trade. The agreement provides that all measures must be scientifically based and not unnecessarily restrictive, while recognizing the right of countries to protect the life or health of humans, animals or plants. The average level of tariffs of the major GATT participants was about 22% in 1947. [4] Following the first rounds of negotiations, tariffs within the GATT core of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia were reduced compared to other contracting parties and non-GATT participants. [4] In the Kennedy Round (1962-67), the average level of tariffs of GATT participants was about 15%. [4] After the Uruguay Round, tariffs were below 5%. [4] The third provision was added in 1965 and concerns developing countries acceding to the GATT.

Industrialized countries have agreed to eliminate tariffs on imports from developing countries in order to stimulate these economies. The reduction in tariffs has also benefited industrialized countries. When GATT increased middle-class consumers around the world, the demand for trade with industrialized countries increased. One of the most important achievements of GATT has been trade without discrimination. Each signatory member of the GATT must be treated in the same way as another. This is called the most-favoured-nation principle, which has been taken up in the WTO. One of the practical results was that once a country negotiated a tariff reduction with certain other countries (usually its major trading partners), the same reduction would automatically apply to all GATT signatories. It is true that there were alternative clauses that allowed countries to negotiate waivers when their domestic producers were particularly adversely affected by tariff reductions.

The Uruguay Round of Agriculture Agreement remains the main agricultural trade liberalization agreement in the history of trade negotiations. .