Agreements Under Gatt

2 Dec

1. Customs unions, free trade zones and interim agreements leading to the establishment of a customs union or free trade area in accordance with Article XXIV must, among other things, comply with the provisions of paragraphs 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this article. 4. The contracting parties recognize that it is desirable to increase trade freedom through the development of closer integration between the economies of the countries parties to these agreements through voluntary agreements. They also recognise that the objective of a customs union or free trade area should be to facilitate trade between the affected areas and not to create trade barriers for other contracting parties with these zones. The GATT has introduced the principle of the most favoured nation into members` collective agreements. Agriculture has been essentially excluded from previous agreements, as it has been granted special status in the areas of import quotas and export subsidies, with slight reserves. However, at the time of the Uruguay Round, many countries considered the agricultural exception so egregious that they refused to sign a new no-move agreement for agricultural products. These fourteen countries were known as the “Cairns Group” and consisted mainly of small and medium-sized agricultural exporters such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia and New Zealand. Also convinced of the need to strengthen the role of the Council for Trade in Goods in the revision of agreements notified in accordance with Article XXIV, specifying the criteria and procedures for evaluating new or extended agreements and improving the transparency of all Article XXIV agreements; Another was the internal crisis of 1965, which ended with the Luxembourg compromise. Preparations for the new round were immediately overshadowed by the chicken war, an early sign of the impact of variable levies under the Common Agricultural Policy.

Some participants had expressed concern that the convening of UNCTAD, scheduled for 1964, would lead to further complications, but its impact on the negotiations themselves was minimal.

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