The Uruguay Round
The Uruguay Round was the 8th round of Multilateral trade negotiations (MTN) conducted within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT), spanning from 1986-1994 and embracing 123 countries as “contracting parties”. This is the largest and the most complex round in history. The Round transformed the GATT into the World Trade Organization. The main objectives of the Uruguay Round were:
* To reduce agricultural subsidies
* To put restrictions on foreign investment, and
* To begin the process of opening trade in services like banking and insurance. They also wanted to draft a code to deal with copyright violation and other forms of intellectual property rights.
The seeds of the Uruguay Round were sown in November 1982 at a ministerial meeting of GATT members in Geneva. Although the ministers intended to launch a major new negotiation, the conference stalled on agriculture and was widely regarded as a failure. In fact, the work programmed that the ministers agreed formed the basis for what was to become the Uruguay Round negotiating agenda. The Uruguay round was held in September 1986, in Punta del Este, Uruguay. They eventually accepted a negotiating agenda that covered virtually every outstanding trade policy issue. The talks were going to extend the trading system into several new areas, notably trade in services and intellectual property, and to reform trade in the sensitive sectors of agriculture and textiles. It was the biggest negotiating mandate on trade ever agreed, and the ministers gave themselves four years to complete it. After the first round the ministers again met in Montreal, Canada in 1988 to discuss the progress of the round half way point but the talk ended in a deadlock until they met again in Geneva in following April. Despite the difficulty, during the Montreal meeting, ministers did agree a package of early results. These included some concessions on market access for tropical products — aimed at assisting developing countries — as well as a streamlined dispute settlement system, and the Trade Policy Review Mechanism which provided for the first comprehensive, systematic and regular reviews of national trade policies and practices of GATT members. The round was supposed to end when ministers met once more in Brussels, in December 1990. But they disagreed on how to reform agricultural trade and decided to extend the talks. The Uruguay Round entered its bleakest period. Over the following two years, the negotiations lurched between impending failure, to predictions of imminent success. Several deadlines came and went. New points of major conflict emerged to join agriculture: services, market access, anti-dumping rules, and the proposed creation of a new institution. Differences between the United States and European Union became central to hopes for a final, successful conclusion. In November 1992, the US and EU settled most of their differences on agriculture in a deal known informally as the “Blair House accord”. By July 1993 the “Quad” (US, EU, Japan and Canada) announced significant progress in negotiations on tariffs and related subjects (“market access”). It took until 15 December 1993 for every issue to be finally resolved and for negotiations on market access for goods and services to be concluded (although some final touches was completed in talks on market access a few weeks later). On 15 April 1994, the deal was signed by ministers from most of the 123 participating governments at a meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco. The Round came into effect in 1995 and has been implemented over the period to 2000 (2004 in the case of developing country contracting parties) under the administrative direction of the newly created World Trade Organization (WTO). The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, administered by the WTO, brings agricultural trade more fully under the GATT. It provides for converting quantitative restrictions to tariffs and for a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document