The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, was created in 1947 with the aim of reducing barriers to international trade and promoting economic growth. The primary goal of GATT was to promote free trade by lowering tariffs on imports, eliminating quotas, and reducing other trade barriers.
The GATT system was built on several key principles, including non-discrimination, the treatment of all countries on a level playing field, and the transparency of trade policies. These principles were intended to prevent trade wars and promote economic development through increased trade.
One of the most significant achievements of GATT was the establishment of the most-favored-nation (MFN) principle, which required countries to treat all their trading partners equally. This rule helped to ensure that countries did not discriminate against one another by imposing higher tariffs on goods from certain countries.
Another core principle of GATT was the reduction of tariffs on imported goods. By lowering tariffs, GATT aimed to make it easier and less expensive for companies to trade across borders, which would ultimately lead to more economic growth.
Over the years, the GATT system underwent several rounds of negotiations, with the most recent round concluding in 1994 with the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO took over where GATT left off, and its mission remains to reduce barriers to international trade and promote economic growth.
In conclusion, the primary objective of GATT was to promote free trade and reduce barriers to international commerce. The principles established by GATT, including the most-favored-nation principle and the reduction of tariffs on imported goods, have helped to promote economic growth and reduce trade disputes around the world. While many challenges still exist in the area of international trade, GATT remains a crucial foundation for trade negotiations and cooperation between countries.