WTO AND IMPACT ON INDIAN INDUSTRY
India is a founder member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1947 and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO), which came into effect on 1.1.95 after the conclusion of the Uruguay Round (UR) of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. India’s participation in an increasingly rule based system in the governance of international trade is to ensure more stability and predictability, which ultimately would lead to more trade and prosperity for itself and the 134 other nations which now comprise the WTO. India also automatically avails of MFN and national treatment for its exports to all WTO Members. The WTO agreements cover goods, services and intellectual property. The three corresponding agreements as mentioned above are: ➢ General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
➢ General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
➢ General Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
1. Spell out the principles of liberalization, and the permitted exceptions. 2. Include individual countries’ commitments to lower custom tariffs and other trade barriers, and to open and keep open services markets. 3. Set procedures for settling disputes.
4. Prescribe special treatment for developing countries.
5. Require governments to make their trade policies transparent by notifying the WTO about laws in force and measures adopted, and through regular reports by the secretariat on countries’ trade policies.
Structure of the Agreements:
The table of contents of “The results of the Uruguay Round of Multinational Trade Negotiations: The Legal Texts” is a daunting list of about 60 agreements, annexes, decisions and understandings. These agreements, however, fall into a simple structure, as shown in the following Table 1. The agreements for the two largest areas of trade-goods and services-share a common three part structure. 1. These agreements start with broad principles as enunciated in the GATT, GATS & TRIPS. 2. These broad principles are followed by extra agreements and annexes dealing with the special requirements of specific structures or issues (such as under GATT, agriculture, health regulations for farm products, textiles and clothing, product standards, investment measures, anti-dumping measures, customs valuation methods, pre-shipment inspection, rules of origin import licensing, subsidies and counter measure, and safeguards; and, under GATS movements of natural persons, air transport, financial services, shipping and telecommunications). 3. Finally, there are detailed and lengthy schedules ( or lists) of commitments made by individual countries allowing specific foreign products or service-providers access to their markets (eg. Tariff bindings, commitments, regarding access to specific service sectors, etc.)
Table 1. Basic structure of WTO agreements
| |Goods |Services |Intellectul | | | | |Property | |Basic Principles |GATT |GATS |TRIPs | |Additional Details |Other goods |Services annexes | | | |Agreements and annexes | | | |Market access |Counties’ schedules of |Countries’ schedules of| | |commitments |commitments (and exceptions) |commitments | |
Besides those shown in the Table1, there are two groups of agreements namely, agreement on trade policy reviews and the two plurilateral agreements not signed by all members (civil aircraft, government procurement).
UR AGREEMENT AND LIBERALISATION
Liberalisation Of Trade...
References: 3. Chaudhry, Arijay, “GATT A developing Country Perspective”, Asian Books Pvt. Ltd., First Edition, 2002
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