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Introduction GATT is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations which is known today as The World Trade Organization WTO At its heart are the WTO agreements negotiated and signed by the bulk of the worlds trading nations and ratified in their parliaments The goal is to help producers of goods and services exporters and importers conduct their business The WTO basic functions Administering WTO trade agreements Acting as a forum for trade negotiations Handling trade disputes Monitoring national trade policies Technical assistance and training for developing countries Cooperation with other international organizations World Trade Organization WTO was established on the first of January 1995 in Geneva Switzerland the only branch in the world and created by Uruguay Round negotiations 1986-94 It has 144 countries as of 1 January 2002 accounting for over 90 of world trade 550 secretariat staff and headed by Mike Moore director-general The GATT began with good trading from 1947 to 1994 GATT was forum for negotiating lower customs duty rates and other trade barriers Since 1995 the updated GATT has become the WTOs umbrella agreement for trade in goods It has six basic functions to do for the countries that are members in the WTO see table to the right and It has annexes dealing with specific sectors such as agriculture and textiles and with specific issues such as state trading product standards subsidies and actions taken against dumping Also the WTO provides services in banking section insurance firms telecommunications companies tour operators hotel chains and transport companies looking to do business abroad can enjoy the same principles of freer and fairer trade that originally only applied to trade in goods These principles appear in the new General Agreement on Trade in Services GATS WTO members have also made individuals commitments under GATES stating which of their services sectors they are willing to open to foreign competition
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