Ultimately, this resulted in an average reduction of 35% in tariffs, with the exception of textiles, chemicals, steel and other sensitive products; plus a 15% to 18% reduction in tariffs on agricultural and food products. In addition, the negotiations on chemicals resulted in a provisional agreement on the abolition of the US selling price (PPP). It was a method of valuation of certain chemicals used by those States for the introduction of import duties, which offered domestic producers a much higher level of protection than indicated in the tariff regime. Most countries have adopted the most-favoured-nation principle in setting tariffs, which have largely replaced quotas. Tariffs (better than quotas, but which remain a barrier to trade) have been steadily reduced in successive rounds of negotiations. They are often long – the Uruguay Round lasted seven and a half years – but trade cycles can have an advantage. They offer a comprehensive approach to trade negotiations that can sometimes be more fruitful than negotiating on a single issue. Eventually, free trade agreements between countries were approved under GATT, which opened the door to the 1989 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), among other things. Technical barriers to trade — sometimes referred to as the Code of Standards The text of the treaty is also very unusual in that it is accompanied in Annex I by « Commentaries and Supplementary Provisions » containing explanations and clarifications on the articles of the agreement and forming an « integral part » of the agreement.
These additional comments and provisions are essentially explanations by the negotiators on how the text should be understood and have become important for the interpretation of the GATT. Thus, GATT articles must be read in the light of – and often alongside – additional notes called « advertising articles ». However, this part of the result was not approved by Congress, and the US sale price was not abolished until Congress passed the results of the Tokyo Round. Performance in agriculture as a whole has been poor. The most notable achievement was the agreement on a memorandum of understanding on the basic elements for the negotiation of a global subsidy agreement, which was eventually incorporated into a new international agreement on cereals. Browse or download the text of the « Multilateral Agreement on Trade in Goods » from the Legal Text Portal The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture remains the most important agreement on the liberalization of trade in agricultural products in the history of trade negotiations. The objective of the agreement was to improve market access for agricultural products, reduce domestic support to agriculture in the form of price-distorting subsidies and quotas, eliminate export subsidies for agricultural products over time and harmonise sanitary and phytosanitary measures between Member States as much as possible. In addition to the safeguards and exceptions provided for in many GATT articles, general exceptions and security exceptions to GATT commitments are provided. Some of the general exceptions relate to issues of particular importance at the time, such as the import or export of gold and silver, but many of these exceptions should be of great importance for the development of gatt, including measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health and measures to conserve exhaustible natural resources. An exception for measures necessary to protect public morals, even though it slept for many years, later became important within the framework of the WTO. Gatt entered into force on 1 January 1948.
Since that beginning, it has been refined, which eventually led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995, which absorbed and expanded it. At that time, 125 countries were signatories to the agreements, which covered about 90% of world trade. Article XXVIII bis provided that the CONTRACTING PARTIES TO THE GATT could enter into negotiations on tariff reductions. Recognizing that tariff reduction is of paramount importance for the expansion of international trade. It also provided that customs negotiations could be conducted for each individual product and that success would depend on the participation of the parties engaged in a substantial part of their trade with each other. .