The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was signed on October 30, 1947, and was the first multilateral agreement on international trade. It replaced the previous protectionist policies that were in place following the two world wars, which had led to an increase in trade barriers and tariffs.
The GATT was established to promote international trade and reduce trade barriers by negotiating and enforcing trade agreements between member states. It aimed to create a more stable and predictable international trading system, which would benefit both developed and developing nations.
The GATT agreement had several rounds of negotiations, known as “rounds,” each aimed at further liberalizing international trade. The most significant rounds were the Kennedy Round, Tokyo Round, and Uruguay Round. The latter concluded with the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.
The GATT agreement has played a crucial role in shaping international trade policies and promoting economic growth and development worldwide. It has helped to create a more open and transparent trading system, which has led to increased competition and innovation. It has also been instrumental in reducing poverty, as trade liberalization has opened up new markets and created new opportunities for smaller, less-developed nations.
For aspirants preparing for the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams, an understanding of the GATT agreement is essential. Questions on the history, objectives, and impact of the GATT agreement are commonly asked in UPSC exams, particularly in the International Relations and Economics sections.
To prepare for questions related to the GATT agreement in UPSC, candidates should read up on the history of the agreement, its objectives, and the various rounds of negotiations. They should also be aware of the significant changes that were made during each round and the impact these changes had on international trade.
Overall, the GATT agreement has been instrumental in shaping international trade policies and promoting economic growth and development worldwide. It continues to play a crucial role in the global economy, and an understanding of its history and impact is essential for aspirants preparing for the UPSC exams.