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WTO/GATT Research: The trade agreements

This guide presents the essential sources for researching the former GATT and the current system under the Uruguay Round agreements and the World Trade Organization. NOTE: Main tabs list general sources that might not be repeated in the dropdown tabs.

WTO Agreements & the GATT 1947

Multilateral trade conventions under the GATT/WTO system are called "agreements." The current WTO system operates under agreements negotiated during the Uruguay Round, 1986-94. Negotiations are ongoing on certain topics. The collective term "legal texts" refers to the agreements, related ministerial decisions and declarations and post-1994 agreements and protocols.

The Final Act of the Uruguay Round was signed in Marrakesh on April 15, 1994, and went into force on January 1, 1995. It contained a package of about 60 agreements, annexes, decisions, and understandings, including the Marrakesh Agreement ("WTO Agreement") establishing the WTO, the GATT 1994, the GATS, other agreements on services, and the TRIPS. The GATT 1994 incorporates by reference the GATT 1947, as amended over time, except for the 1947 Protocol on Provisional Application, and related official instruments as amended up to the effective date of the WTO agreements.

Finding specific terms in an agreement