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 containing the results of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations is the Uruguay Round Agreement, which was signed in April 1994. With this agreement, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was created. The WTO is the body responsible for implementing the agreement, and it has also launched the current round in Doha. To join the WTO now, a nation must apply to become a member. The WTO currently has 164 members. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was the first multilateral free trade agreement. It first entered into force in 1948 as an agreement between 23 countries and remained in force until 1995, when its membership grew to 128 countries.
It has been replaced by the World Trade Organization. The following list is historical. It contains the 128 signatories to GATT at the end of 1994 and the date on which they signed the agreement. Click here for the current list of WTO Members. Unlike the ITO Charter, gatt did not require Congressional approval. This is because the GATT was technically an agreement under the provisions of the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act of 1934. At the same time, preparatory meetings on GATT were held at the UNCTE. After several of these meetings, 23 countries signed GATT on 30 October 1947 in Geneva, Switzerland. It entered into force on 1 January 1948.
  The summit almost resulted in a third organization. It would become the very ambitious International Trade Organization (IBA). The 50 countries that started negotiations wanted it to be an agency within the United Nations that creates rules not only for trade, but also for employment, commodity agreements, trade practices, foreign direct investment and services. The ITO Charter was passed in March 1948, but the U.S. Congress and lawmakers in some other countries refused to ratify it. In 1950, the Truman administration declared defeat and ended the ITO. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was a free trade agreement that abolished tariffs and increased international trade. As the world`s first multilateral free trade agreement, GATT regulated a significant part of international trade between 1 January 1948 and 1 January 1995. The agreement ended when it was replaced by the more robust World Trade Organization (WTO). The most important round of GATT negotiations was the Uruguay Round, which began in September 1986.
It was concluded on 15 April 1994 after almost eight years of negotiations and entered into force on 1 January 1995. The resulting comprehensive document contained both important revisions to the GATT as it existed after the previous seven rounds of negotiations and a wide range of other agreements on two types of issues: (1) issues that were not previously covered by ordinary GATT rules, such as trade-related investment measures, trade in services, intellectual property rights and agriculture, textiles and clothing; and (2) issues that have been incompletely addressed in previous negotiations, such as rules of origin, dumping, subsidies, safeguard measures and dispute settlement procedures. Gatt was created to establish rules to end or restrict the most costly and undesirable features of the pre-war protectionist period, namely quantitative barriers to trade such as trade controls and quotas. The agreement also provided for a system for settling trade disputes between nations, and the framework allowed for a series of multilateral negotiations on the elimination of tariff barriers. Gatt was considered a significant success in the post-war years. The most influential group was the informal quadrilateral group, or the so-called “quad”, which emerged at the beginning of GATT`s history. The group included Canada, Japan, the United States and the European Union – the largest trading companies in the world at the time. With the Quad, most of the reciprocal GATT tariff reductions were introduced, which reduced tariff rates for all GATT countries in accordance with the most-favoured-nation principle. Quad biking became a more formal alliance at the 1981 G7 summit in Montebello, Quebec. It had the most influence during the Uruguay Round when it prioritized agricultural negotiations and pushed for the creation of the WTO.
GATT was first discussed at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and is the result of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ILO). It was signed by 23 nations in Geneva on 30 October 1947 and entered into force on 1 January 1948. It remained in force until the signing of the Uruguay Round agreements by 123 States in Marrakesh on 15 April 1994, establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995. The WTO succeeds the GATT and the original text of the GATT (GATT 1947) is still in force within the framework of the WTO, subject to the gatt 1994 amendments.   Countries that were not parties to GATT in 1995 must meet the minimum requirements set out in specific documents before they can join. as of September 2019, the list included 36 countries.  The GATT contained three main provisions. The most important requirement was that each member should grant most-favoured-nation status to the other member. All members must be treated equally with respect to rates.
He excluded special tariffs between members of the British Commonwealth and customs unions. It allowed customs duties if their removal caused serious injury to domestic producers. In preparation for gatt, the 23 signatory states conducted negotiations among themselves on the removal of certain tariffs and other barriers to trade. Canada has negotiated bilaterally with seven of these countries. His conversations with the United States were the most extensive of all those taking place at the time. Canada had negotiated trade agreements with the United States in 1935 and 1938, but after the two countries signed the GATT, it became the basic agreement on trade relations between them, replacing the 1938 agreement (see Canada-United States Economic Relations). GATT rules required each member state to grant all its members the same tariff and other trade policy privileges that it grants to the most-favoured nation with which it negotiates. This is called the most-favoured-nation principle and it was introduced to eliminate discrimination in trade. However, this part of the result was not approved by Congress, and the US sale price was not abolished until Congress passed the results of the Tokyo Round. Performance in agriculture as a whole has been poor. The most notable achievement was the agreement on a memorandum of understanding on the basic elements for the negotiation of a global subsidy agreement, which was eventually incorporated into a new international agreement on cereals.
The growth of international trade has led to a complex and ever-growing primary law, including international treaties and agreements, domestic legislation and jurisprudence for the settlement of trade disputes. This research guide focuses on the multilateral trading system managed by the World Trade Organization. It also contains information on regional and bilateral trade agreements, particularly those in which the United States is involved. After the UK voted to leave the European Union, supporters of leaving the EU suggested that Article 24(5B) of the treaty could be used to maintain a “status quo” in trade conditions between the UK and the EU if the UK left the EU without a trade deal, thus preventing the introduction of tariffs. According to proponents of this approach, it could be used to implement an interim agreement until a final agreement of up to ten years is negotiated.  Ultimately, this resulted in an average tariff reduction of 35%, with the exception of textiles, chemicals, steel and other sensitive products; plus a reduction from 15% to 18% of customs duties on agricultural and food products. .