What Is The General Agreement Of Tariffs And Trade

The GATT has introduced the principle of the most favoured nation into members` collective agreements. One of GATT`s most important achievements has been indiscriminate trade. Any GATT signatory should be treated like any other, known to be the nation`s most privileged principle and entered into the WTO. The practical result was that, once a country had negotiated a tariff reduction with some other countries (usually its major trading partners), this reduction would automatically apply to all GATT signatories. There were escape clauses under which countries could negotiate exemptions if their domestic producers were particularly harmed by tariff reductions. Managing SPS measures to reduce food-related health risks poses clear and specific challenges for developing countries, which are hampered by less access to the scientific and technical knowledge and information needed to meet these new requirements. Their difficulties do not appear to affect the international legislative process, as most developing countries do not have the financial facilities to participate in the activities of international organizations. The conditions for the production and marketing of food are highly fragmented and depend on a large number of small producers. Therefore, they are incompatible with SPS requirements such as traceability. Preliminary estimates show significant negative economic consequences of stricter trade barriers, which have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in commodity trade. Henson et al. indicated that the number of technical notifications to developing countries to the WTO and its predecessor, GATT, doubled between 1990 and 1998.

The Uruguay cycle began in 1986. It was the most ambitious cycle to date that hoped to extend GATT`s jurisdiction to important new areas such as services, capital, intellectual property, textiles and agriculture. 123 countries participated in the cycle. The Uruguay Round was also the first round of multilateral trade negotiations in which developing countries played an active role. [16] Reducing tariffs and introducing new rules to stem the increase in non-tariff barriers and voluntary export restrictions. 102 countries participated in the cycle. Concessions have been made for $19 billion. The SPS agreement has changed the way trade decisions are made with respect to agricultural products.