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General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade Treaty organization associated with the United Nations whose purpose was to facilitate international trade. The primary actions of the organization were to freeze and reduce tariff levels on various commodities. GATT was originally signed in 1947 and now includes 153 signatory nations. The treaty is negotiated in rounds, with the latest round ending in 1993 in Uruguay. This round led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which turned the treaty from a simple agreement to an administrative body . On 1 January 1995, the WTO replaced GATT, which had been in existence since 1947, as the organization overseeing the multilateral trading system. The governments that had signed GATT were officially known as “GATT contracting parties”. Upon signing the new WTO agreements (which include the updated GATT, known as GATT 1994), they officially became known as “WTO members ”.

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Function GATT's main function is to promote fair trade among member nations by reducing and regulating trade tariffs and by providing a common way to solve any sort of trade dispute. More recently, the GATT has become concerned with how global trade is impacting the environment as well as intellectual property rights .

Member countries:

Member countries The 128 countries that had signed GATT by 1994 and 153  members by 10 February 2011 Multilateral Trade Negotiation

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Some facts… The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. Location : Geneva, Switzerland Established : 1 January 1995 Created by : Uruguay Round negotiations Membership : 153 countries Head : Pascal Lamy (DG) Secretariat staff : 550

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WTO Objectives WTO Came into existence for the purpose of : Transparent, free and rule-based trading system Provide common institutional framework for conduct of trade relations among members Facilitate the implementation, administration and operation of Multilateral Trade Agreements Rules and Procedures Governing Dispute Settlement Trade Policy Review Mechanism Concern for LDCs and NFIDCs Concern on Non-trade issues such as Food Security, environment, health, etc.

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BASIC PRINCIPLES 1. NON-DISCRIMINATION MFN (Most Favored Nation) Members are bound to grant to the products of other members treatment not less favorable than that accorded to the products of any other country. National Treatment Once goods have cleared customs, imported goods must be treated no less favorably than the equivalent domestically produced goods.

2. PREDICTABLE AND GROWING ACCESS TO THE MARKETS :

2. PREDICTABLE AND GROWING ACCESS TO THE MARKETS Prohibition of Quantitative Restrictions Binding of Tariffs Bound Tariffs cannot be increased Progressive reduction in the protection. Exceptions: Safeguards, BOP. 3 . FAIR COMPETITION 4. TRANSPARENCY 5. ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT

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