To achieve these objectives, GATT plans to sign agreements to substantially reduce tariffs and other trade barriers, as well as to eliminate discriminatory treatment in international trade on the basis of reciprocity and reciprocal benefits. The agreement provides for a number of rights and obligations (or codes of conduct) that must be respected by the signatory countries (the parties) as well as mechanisms for resolving the controversy. In particular, the GATT serves as a framework for the organisation of general rounds of negotiations between Member States. Eight such rounds took place and the last, the Uruguay Round, began in September 1986 in Punta del Este (Uruguay). This round culminated in April 1994, after a slow and laborious negotiation process that enabled the United States and the European Union to reach an agreement on agricultural production and trade policy. Although the results of this round have been below the initial objectives, significant progress has been made, taking into account the resurgence of protectionism and trade-distorting practices in recent years, particularly in industrialized countries. It is interesting to note that Colombia clung to the GATT in 1981. Derogations under Article XX of the GATT are permitted as long as the resulting measures are not unjustified or arbitrary. This implies that the country has no other means of pursuing objectives that would avoid restrictive trade practices. In this context, the general principles of international law and other international conventions ratified by members may also be taken into account when interpreting the extension of a waiver (US – Shrimp, WTAB/R, 1998, para. 35).
See also the Vienna Convention on Treaty Law Article 31.3.c). The implementation of NAFTA on January 1, 1994 resulted in the immediate removal of tariffs on more than half of Mexican exports to the United States and more than one-third of U.S. exports to Mexico. Within 10 years of the implementation of the agreement, all U.S.-Mexico tariffs would be eliminated, with the exception of some U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico, which were to expire within 15 years. Most U-Canada trade was already duty-free. NAFTA also aims to remove non-tariff barriers and protect the intellectual property rights of products. THE GATT continues to live as the foundation of the WTO. The 1947 agreement itself no longer exists, but its provisions were incorporated into the 1994 GATT agreement. Trade agreements should thus continue to operate during the wto`s implementation. That is why the 1994 GATT is an integral part of the WTO agreement. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a legal agreement first signed on 30 October 1947 in Geneva, Switzerland, by 23 countries.
The GATT aimed to „substantially reduce tariffs and other trade barriers and eliminate preferences on a reciprocal and mutually beneficial basis” in order to stimulate economic recovery after the Second World War. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), signed on 30 October 1947 by 23 countries, was a legal agreement to minimize barriers to international trade by eliminating or reducing quotas, tariffs and subsidies, while maintaining important rules. The GATT is expected to stimulate economic recovery after the Second World War through the reconstruction and liberalization of world trade. The GATT came into force on January 1, 1948. Since that beginning, it has been refined, which eventually led to the creation, on 1 January 1995, of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which absorbed and extended it. To date, 125 nations signed its agreements, which covered about 90% of world trade.