General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1948
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This is a series of multilateral trade agreements aimed at eliminating tariffs between Parties and reducing tariffs. When the 23 Geneva countries signed the GATT in 1947 (effective January 1, 1948), it was considered a tentative agreement until the UN agency replaced GATT. When no such institution emerged, GATT was expanded and further developed in several consecutive negotiations.
It then proved to be the most effective means of liberalising world trade and played an important role in the large-scale expansion of world trade in the second half of the 20th century. When GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, 125 countries signed the agreement. It has become a code of conduct governing 90 percent of world trade.