Major Difference Between GATT and WTO

The General Tariff and Trade Agreement (GATT) was signed in 1947 to facilitate foreign trade, liberalize policies and abolish tariffs. GATT is a multilateral agreement that regulates international trade between several nations of the world. The key goal is to substantially reduce tariffs and eliminate certain trade barriers. In 1995, however, the GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization ( WTO). The WTO promotes and facilitates inter-country trade as well as contributes to the settlement of trade disputes. The WTO intends to provide for the conduct of trade relations among its members. The WTO establishment represented the largest foreign trade reform since World War II, following the Uruguay Round.

Difference between GATT & WTO

The following points describe in-depth the difference between the GATT and the WTO:

  • GATT was temporary and ad-hoc. The WTO and its agreement have a solid legal basis on a permanent basis with the WTO since the WTO Agreements have been ratified by members.
  • GATT refers to a multilateral international agreement to facilitate free exchange and remove cross-country barriers to trade. On the contrary, the WTO is a global organisation, replacing the GATT and addressing the international trade rules among the Member States.
  • Because GATT is a simple agreement, the institutional presence does not exist but it has a small secretariat. The WTO, on the other hand, is together with a secretariat a permanent institution.
  • The participating nations are referred to as GATT contracting parties although they are referred to as the Member States for the WTO.
  • The provisional implementation protocol clause of GATT 1947 was not transmitted to the WTO. In the WTO, the original GATT rules-GATT Rules 1994 have been changed.
  • GATT agreements are temporary in nature and may be considered as a permanent agreement or not by the Government after 47 years. WTO obligations, on the other hand, are permanent from the beginning.
  • In the sense that the laws of GATT only apply when the trade-in products are made, the WTO has a broader reach than GATT. In comparison, the WTO is whose laws relate to intellectual property and consumer services and aspects.
  • Mainly a multilateral agreement is the GATT agreement, although it is later added to the plurilateral agreement. The WTO deals, by comparison, are strictly multilateral.
  • The GATT permits the continuity of domestic law, while the WTO can not do the same.
  • GATT ‘s conflict settlement system was slower, less robust, and blockable. In contrast to the WTO which has a very efficient dispute settlement system.
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