GATT, short for General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade according to abbreviationfinder, was built on 30. 10. 1947 in Geneva from Agreement concluded by 23 states and entered into force on January 1, 1948, to facilitate mutual trade on the basis of most-favored-nation treatment and to reorganize international economic relations; de jure only a multilateral trade agreement, but de facto equated with other international organizations.

Objectives: dismantling tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers, eliminating discriminatory interference in the international division of labor. By increasing the exchange of goods, production and the standard of living are to be increased, a high level of employment and rising real incomes are to be achieved, and global resources are to be better developed.

The GATT was established on January 1, 1996 by the World Trade Organization (WTO) replaced; most recently (at the end of 1994) it had 124 full members and 16 de facto members. The contractual provisions of the GATT, including the changes introduced in the course of the Uruguay Round, as well as all sub-agreements and arrangements were entered into the WTO. The GATT treaty consists of four parts. Part I of the contract (Art. I and II) contains the most favored nation obligation (all concessions, advantages, exemptions that are granted for goods of a contracting country; they must benefit all GATT members), Part II (Art. III – XXIII) contains, among other things. the provisions on the prohibition of quantitative restrictions and also stipulates that foreign goods with regard to national taxes, legal and a. Regulations on how to treat domestic ones (as well as the permitted exceptions). Part III (Art. XXIV – XXXV) contains exceptions to the formation of customs unions and free trade areas, regulates accession to the GATT as well as the termination and amendment of the agreement. Part IV was included in the treaty in 1965. It contains special regulations for developing countries: inter alia. The industrialized nations waive consideration in trade agreements and agreements on the further dismantling of trade barriers for important export goods from developing countries.

History: The starting point was the negotiations on a reduction of customs tariffs and trade barriers, which took place in Geneva in 1947 and the results of which were laid down in a multilateral agreement. This “General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade” was part of the Havana Charter, which was signed by 54 states on March 24, 1948 at the UNO Conference on Trade and Employment in Havana. the establishment of an International Trade Organization (International Trade Organization, abbreviation ITO) envisaged. The ITO should be next to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank form the third pillar of a world economic order. Since important signatory states (e.g. the USA) did not ratify the Havana Charter, the ITO never came into force, so that until 1995 the GATT was the only agreement to set guidelines for international trade on a worldwide basis.

A total of eight large negotiation rounds (tariff rounds) to reduce tariffs were held within the framework of the GATT. Trade barriers carried out. The best known were the “Dillon Round” (1960–61 in Geneva), the “Kennedy Round” (1964–67 in Geneva) and the “Tokyo Round” (1973–79 in Geneva). The eighth, the “Uruguay Round” (1986–93), was the longest and at the same time the last GATT round. She brought v. a. important advances for developing countries, including: through the obligation to further reduce tariffs (industrialized countries to an average of 3.1% by 1999, developing countries to a maximum of 35–40%), through the inclusion of agricultural and textile trade and the first-time integration of trade in services (GATS) and the protection of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) into a world trade agreement, and ultimately led to the establishment of the WTO as the legal successor to the GATT.

With the decreasing importance of tariffs in international trade in goods, the tendency in most countries to use non-tariff trade barriers, whose protectionist effects are often difficult to prove (“gray area measures” such as “voluntary” export restrictions, market agreements) and with which the equal treatment of domestic and foreign goods strived for in GATT is undermined again.

The global economic importance of the GATT lies in the systematic dismantling of trade barriers and the balancing of divergent trade policy interests. The realistic concept of the treaty, which lays down rules for world trade in the form of rights and obligations, and its pragmatic application have improved the international division of labor and contributed to the expansion of world trade. For more far-reaching goals such as reorganizing the world economy, v. a. by redesigning the economic relations between industrialized and developing countries and by a noticeable change in the differences in prosperity between these groups of countries, the approach and resources of the GATT were insufficient.


World trade organization

World Trade Organization, English World Trade Organization [wə ː ld tre ɪ d ɔ ː gəna ɪ ze ɪ ʃ n, English], abbreviation WTO, in relation to the United Nations standing organization for the promotion and monitoring of international trade, founded on 15.04.1994 at the ministerial conference in Marrakech (Morocco) by signing the GATT agreement of the Uruguay Round agreed on December 15, 1993; Headquarters: Geneva.

The agreement came into force on 1.1.1995 and the WTO finally replaced the GATT on 1.1.1996. When it was founded, an organization that is independent under international law was created which, alongside the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, is the third pillar of the global economic order. Roberto Azevêdo (* 1957) has been the General Director of the WTO since 2013.


GATT Guide