C-1-1- The GATT, General Agreement on Tariffs on Trade

The GATT, is therefore the general agreement on tariffs on trade, It was created in 1947. The objective of the GATT agreements is to reduce customs tariffs and other trade barriers within the scope of international transactions. The GATT agreements can contain no more and no less than 37 articles.

The GATT is based on the WTO's general most favored nation treatment and the national treatment.

Amongst others issues, the GATT agreement articles deal with, anti-dumping duties, countervailing measures, customs value and customs taxes for imports and exports. They deal also with trademark filing, quantitative constraints, provisions governing foreign exchange, subsidies, emergency measures concerning the importation of specials products, the customs union and free trade areas.

1-1-1- Evolution of the GATT

From its creation through 2010, the GATT has evolved through various rounds of negotiation. The USA played a significant role in these negotiations.

1-1-2- The various cycles leading to the establishment of the GATT

In 1961, there was the Dillon cycle (Dillon round), with the objective to unify the common external tariff by using the tariffs of each member country. The Dillon round also proposed a reduction of customs duties on certain products. The European Economic Community has become a full-fledged customs union with a common border.
  • From 1963 to 1976, there was the Kennedy round,
  • From 1973 to 1979, the Tokyo round
  • From 1983 to 1993, the Uruguay round
  • Since 2001, the Doha round

1-1-3- The GATS : The General Agreement on Trade in Services

The GATS covers all private services. It created a parallel with the GATT agreements with the accompaniment of a specific commitments list. All the countries that join the GATT automatically join the GATS. The GATS therefore permits free access to the enterprise market upon location in the country. The services taken into account are:
  • the services coming from a member territory, to another, without any consumer movement,
  • the services offered within a country to a foreign consumer,
  • the services from a provider in a foreign country with a commercial presence in the consumer country,
  • the services from a physical person in the consumer country.