General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Came into Force in the Year


The year 1948 marked a significant milestone in the world of international trade as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) came into force on 1st January that year. This agreement would go on to shape the global trade landscape for decades to come, laying the foundations for the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The primary goal of the GATT was to reduce trade barriers and promote free trade between member countries, with a focus on reducing tariffs on imported goods. The agreement was signed by 23 countries, including the United States, Canada, and several European nations. Over time, the membership expanded to include over 120 countries, including emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil.

Under the GATT, member countries committed to negotiating mutually beneficial trade agreements and reducing barriers to international trade. This included reducing tariffs, quotas, and other barriers to entry for imported goods. The GATT also established a dispute resolution mechanism that allowed member countries to resolve trade disputes in a peaceful and efficient manner.

The GATT was successful in achieving many of its goals, leading to a significant increase in global trade and economic growth. However, it was not without its criticisms and challenges. Some argued that the GATT favored the interests of developed countries and led to the exploitation of developing countries through unequal trade agreements. Others pointed to the lack of environmental and labor standards in the agreement, which led to exploitation and abuse in some industries.

Despite these criticisms, the GATT paved the way for the creation of the WTO in 1995, which continues to promote free trade and negotiate trade agreements between member countries. Today, the WTO has 164 members, including the majority of the world`s economies. While there are still many challenges to achieving true free trade, the GATT and its successor, the WTO, have played a significant role in shaping the global trade landscape and promoting economic growth and development.