Structure Agreements And Principles Of The Trading System Of Wto

The agreement entered into force in January 1995. Some exceptions are allowed. For example, countries can establish a free trade agreement that only applies to goods that are traded within the group and that discriminate against goods from outside. Or they can give developing countries special access to their markets. Or a country may erect barriers against products considered unfair from certain countries. With regard to services, countries may, in certain circumstances, discriminate. However, the agreements allow these exceptions only under strict conditions. In general, most-favoured-nation means that whenever a country lowers a trade barrier or opens a market, it must do so for the same goods or services of all its trading partners, rich or poor, weak or strong. Under GATT, seven rounds of negotiations took place (from 1949 to 1979). The first real GATT trade cycles (1947-1960) focused on further tariff reductions. Then, in the mid-60s, the Kennedy Round gave rise to a GATT anti-dumping agreement and a section on development. The Tokyo Round of the 70s was the first major attempt to eliminate and improve trade barriers that are not tariffs by adopting a series of agreements on non-tariff barriers that, in some cases, interpreted existing GATT rules and, in others, took completely new paths. As not all GATT members accept these plurilateral agreements, they have often been informally referred to as “codes”.

(The Uruguay Round amended several of these codes and transformed them into multilateral commitments accepted by all WTO members. Only four remained plurilateral (those relating to government procurement, beef, civil aircraft and dairy products), but in 1997 WTO members agreed to denounce the agreements on beef and dairy products, leaving only two. [27]) Despite attempts in the mid-1950s and 1960s to establish some form of institutional mechanism for international trade, gatt continued to work for nearly half a century as a semi-institutionalized multilateral body on a provisional basis. [28] Sometimes the promise not to create a barrier to trade can be as important as lowering one, because the promise gives companies a clearer overview of their future chances. . . .



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