Concept

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade

Summary
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas. According to its preamble, its purpose was the "substantial reduction of tariffs and other trade barriers and the elimination of preferences, on a reciprocal and mutually advantageous basis." The GATT was first discussed during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITO). It was signed by 23 nations in Geneva on 30 October 1947, and was applied on a provisional basis 1 January 1948. It remained in effect until 1 January 1995, when the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established after agreement by 123 nations in Marrakesh on 15 April 1994, as part of the Uruguay Round Agreements. The WTO is the successor to the GATT, and
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