General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) Functions
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is an international treaty that was signed in 1947 to promote free trade and reduce barriers to international commerce. The GATT functions primarily through a set of rules and regulations that govern the conduct of member countries with regard to trade.
The primary objective of GATT is to reduce or eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade. Tariffs are taxes that countries place on imported goods, making them more expensive and less competitive with domestic products. By lowering or eliminating these taxes, GATT promotes a more open trading system, leading to increased economic growth and greater prosperity for all member countries.
In addition to reducing tariffs, GATT also aims to prevent discrimination against foreign products and companies. This includes anti-dumping measures, which are designed to prevent companies from selling products in a foreign market at prices lower than those charged in their home market. This practice can be used to undercut the competition and gain an unfair advantage. GATT aims to prevent such practices and promote fair trade between member countries.
Another important function of GATT is to facilitate negotiations between member countries to resolve disputes related to trade. The GATT provides a framework for negotiations, with disputes being resolved through consultation and mediation. If the issue cannot be resolved through these means, the GATT has provisions for binding arbitration and the implementation of sanctions.
Over time, the role of GATT has expanded beyond just reducing tariffs to include other areas of trade, such as intellectual property rights, agricultural subsidies, and non-tariff barriers to trade. In 1995, the GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which now oversees international trade negotiations and dispute resolution.
In conclusion, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) functions primarily to promote free trade and reduce barriers to international commerce through a set of rules and regulations that govern the conduct of member countries. GATT aims to reduce tariffs, prevent discrimination against foreign products and companies, facilitate negotiations to resolve disputes related to trade, and promote fair trade between member countries. The role of GATT has expanded over time, and it was eventually replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.