General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade


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Related to General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) originated with a meeting of 22 nations meeting in 1947 in Geneva, Switzerland. By 2000, there were 142 member nations, with another 30 countries seeking admission. The detailed commitments by each country to limit tariffs on particular items by the amount negotiated and specified in its tariff schedule is the central core of the GATT system of international obligation.

The obligations relating to the tariff schedules are contained in Article II of GATT. For each commodity listed on the schedule of a country, that country agrees to charge a tariff that will not exceed an amount specified in the schedule. It can, if it wishes, charge a lower tariff.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) heavily influences the workings of the GATT treaties through the efforts of various committees. Representatives of member countries of the WTO comprise the Council for the Trade in Goods (Goods Council), which oversees the work of 11 committees responsible for overseeing the various sectors of GATT. The committees focus on such issues as agriculture, sanitary measures, subsidies, customs valuation, and rules of origin.

Further readings

Bagwell, Kyle. 2002. The Economics of the World Trading System. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Cross-references

Commodity; Tariff.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

abbreviation for GATT.
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In a challenge brought by the European Union and Japan in an unrelated case, the World Trade Organization ruled last year that the 1916 Act was inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
Gardner's second recommendation was to "rewrite the ground rules for the conduct of international trade," including "seeking new rules in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to cover a whole range of hitherto unregulated nontariff barriers.
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The cause of free trade, for the foreseeable future at least, rests entirely on the fate of trade negotiations: the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade talks and, of course, NAFTA.
They are the same code words used to describe what the same one-worlders have been doing worldwide through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which became, in 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO).
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