General Agreement on Tariff and Funds (Gatt)


General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a multilateral trade agreement that was signed in 1947 to regulate international trade. It was aimed at reducing trade barriers between member countries and promoting free trade. GATT was the first comprehensive agreement among nations to promote free trade, and it paved the way for the World Trade Organization.

The primary objective of GATT was to enforce fair trade practices among member countries, which would create a level playing field for all nations. To achieve this objective, GATT set forth a framework for negotiations and reduced tariffs on trading among member countries. The agreement aimed to create a system of rules-based trade where countries could negotiate their trade policies, and disputes could be settled through peaceful means.

The GATT was initially signed by 23 countries, and over the years, it has expanded to include more than 160 member countries. One of the most important aspects of the GATT agreement was the recognition of the most favored nation (MFN) principle. This meant that any concessions offered to one member country would also be extended to other member countries.

In addition to MFN, GATT also provided for the establishment of a dispute settlement mechanism to address disputes that arise between member countries. The dispute settlement mechanism would be used to resolve any conflicts between member countries, and it has been used successfully in several instances.

GATT played a vital role in promoting global economic growth and development. It helped to stimulate international trade and investment, which contributed to increased economic wealth for member countries. The agreement also helped to reduce trade barriers, which enabled businesses to access new markets and consumers, ultimately leading to increased competition.

GATT has since been replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which now regulates international trade. However, the principles established by GATT continue to guide international trade and commerce and have been incorporated into the WTO.

In conclusion, GATT was an essential agreement that paved the way for the establishment of the rules-based system of international trade. The agreement helped to reduce trade barriers and promote free trade among member countries, ultimately leading to increased economic growth and development. Even though GATT has been replaced by the WTO, the principles established by GATT continue to guide international trade and commerce.