History of GATT and WTO, its difference and advantages to US.
After World War II, representatives of the US and its Allied Forces attempted to work out the arrangements for the post war era. General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was formed by an International conference held at Geneva in 1947. The US initiated negotiations with 22 other countries that led to commitments to regulate different tariff rates. GATT was formed as an agreement among member nations to decrease trade barriers and to place all nations within the trading relation. GATT began its provisional existence on January 1, 1948, when 23 contracting parties signed the agreement. GATT made required all member countries to treat equally and nondiscriminatory to all other contracting parties with respect to tariffs. GATT in general prohibits the use of quantitative restrictions on imports and exports with exception in agriculture, national security, developing countries etc.
GATT gives high priority to reduction and elimination of tariffs on products of developing countries. GATT also played a role in the settlement of trade disputes. GATT also organize different series of negotiations or rounds to reduce tariffs and nontariff trade barriers like: Kennedy Round, Tokyo round, Uruguay round e.t.c.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. GATT was transformed into WTO after the Uruguay round on January 1, 1995. WTO works through agreements and negotiations between the world's trading nations. The WTO's main objective is to help trade flow smoothly, freely, fairly and predictably. It is trying to reach its objective by administering trade agreements, by settling trade disputes, by reviewing national trade policies and by assisting developing countries in trade policy issues, through technical assistance and training programmes.
Difference between WTO and GATT.