What Is Uruguay Round Agreement

The Uruguay Round was the 8th round of multilateral trade negotiations (MTN) conducted under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) from 1986 to 1993, which included 123 countries as “contracting parties”. The round led to the creation of the World Trade Organization, with GATT remaining an integral part of the WTO agreements. The broad mandate of the Round was to extend GATT trade rules to areas previously considered too difficult to liberalize (agriculture, textiles) and to new and increasingly important areas that had not previously been included (trade in services, intellectual property, trade distortions in investment policy). [1] The Round entered into force in 1995 and the deadlines ended in 2000 (2004 in the case of developing country Parties) under the administrative guidance of the newly established World Trade Organization (WTO). [2] Two years later, in December 1988, Ministers met again in Montreal, Canada, to assess progress made halfway through. The aim was to clarify the agenda for the remaining two years, but the talks ended in an impasse that was only resolved when officials met more discreetly in Geneva the following April. The creation of the World Trade Organization was not envisaged at the beginning of the Uruguay Round negotiations in 1986, but in subsequent negotiations it was presented as a necessary institutional framework for the implementation of the final agreements. As the manual points out, the Uruguay Round agreements represented a major step forward in efforts to better regulate international trade. The General Council delegates responsibility to three other important bodies: the Councils for Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and TRIPS.

The Goods Council oversees the implementation and operation of all agreements on trade in goods, although many of these agreements have their own specific supervisory bodies. There is, for example, a Committee on Agriculture. The seeds of the Uruguay Round were sown in November 1982 at a ministerial meeting of GATT members in Geneva. Although ministers intended to launch an important new negotiation, the agriculture conference is at a standstill and has been widely seen as a failure. In fact, the programme of work agreed upon by ministers served as the basis for what would become the agenda of the Uruguay Round negotiations […].