General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was negotiated during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment in the wake of World War II (1947). Efforts to negotiate an international trade agreement had begun in 1927 through the League of Nations, and an International Trade Organization (ITO) was proposed in February 1945 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. The Bretton Woods Conference had introduced the idea of creating an organization to regulate trade, as part of a larger economic recovery plan in the wake of World War II. As governments negotiated the ITO, 15 negotiating states began to carve out the GATT as a means to assure early tariff reductions. The ITO failed in 1950, leaving only the GATT to carry on the objective of reducing barriers to international trade.
GATT 1947 represents the first successful set of general trade regulations; then modifications were made (GATT 1994), until GATT was ultimately subsumed within the framework of the World...
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