The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will be the second of three regimes governing international trade in the current era. It has been succeeded from the World Trade Organization (WTO), and coexisted using the abortive International Trade Organization (ITO). The International Trade Organization was should have been a counterpart on the International Monetary Fund as well as the World Bank, institutions negotiated on the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. Named for Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, site with the Mount Washington Hotel where negotiations occurred, the conference-formally the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, but rarely recognized by that name anymore-was attended by 730 delegates in the 44 Allied nations, already getting yourself ready the shape the planet would take when World War II ended.
The foundational thought of Bretton Woods was the encouraging of open markets and also the lowering of barriers to trade, among member nations. In 1946 the United Nations Economic and Social Committee needed a conference to charter the International Trade Organization. Though approved fairly quickly, ITO never got started; every try and have the United States Congress approve it failed, because of the fact that the ITO will be given a lot of jurisdiction over internal American matters. At the end of 1950, President Truman announced which he would stop seeking ratification with the ITO charter, and without American involvement, the corporation withered about the vine. GATT, for the time being, had successfully been implemented but was intended to supplement, as opposed to replace, the ITO. While the ITO, as well as the WTO that now reigns, was an institution, GATT was just a treaty, without having infrastructure, staff, or institutional existence.
Negotiations on the GATT began in parallel plus cooperation together with the ITO negotiations, and were originally intended as a short-term treaty binding countries with a easily agreed-upon terms before the ITO began operations. Twenty-three countries signed the main treaty, which in the United States was considered a congressional-executive agreement, an exercise on the president’s capacity to negotiate trade agreements when granted such authority by Congress. In essence, it granted “most favored nation” status upon all nations signing the treaty. A staggering total of 45,000 tariff concessions were made through the first signing of GATT, affecting half with the world’s trade-an enormous initiative, in spite of the failure from the ITO 3 years later. More “rounds” of GATT followed, each addressing slightly different issues, taken part in by slightly different assortments of countries:
The Annecy Round in Annecy, France, in 1949, further reduced tariffs among 13 countries. The Torquay Round, 1951, England, another 8700 tariff concessions. The Geneva Round, 1956, further tariff concessions as well as the primary participation of postwar Japan. The Dillon Round, 1962, Geneva, named for Secretary on the Treasury Douglas Dillon, tariff concessions and early speaks about the European Economic Community. The Kennedy Round, 1967, Geneva, named for your late President Kennedy, involving 66 countries, by far the most to date. The Tokyo Round, 1979, 102 countries, and also the first discussion of limiting non-tariff barriers and voluntary export restrictions. The 1993 Uruguay Round, begun in 1986, was by far the most ambitious. It took seven years to negotiate, involved 123 countries, and was the initial to involve agricultural goods. This was the ultimate round of GATT, as one in the reasons for negotiations lasting such a long time was careful analysis finally create an organizational body: the WTO, which replaced GATT in 1995.