Link between GATT and WTO 1. The GATT is set of rules, which is multilateral agreement, and with no institutional foundation. The WTO is a permanent institution with its own secretariat. The WTO has a permanent institution with its own secretariat. 2. The GATT was applied on a provisional basis even after fifty years. The governments have option to choose it as a permanent. But the WTO commitments are full and permanent. 3. The GATT rules applied to trade in merchandise goods. In addition to goods, the WTO covers trade in services and trade related aspects of intellectual property.
4. GATT is a multilateral instrument and during 1980 many new agreements had been added a plurilateral and therefore selective in nature. In the case of WTO all multilateral and hence involve commitments for the entire membership. 5. GATT 1947 is an institution as well as agreement. WTO has replaced GATT 1947 as amended until the Uruguay Round of Negotiations. 6. The WTO dispute settlement system is faster more automatic and thus much less susceptible to blockages, than the old GATT system. The implementation of WTO dispute findings will also be more easily assured. NATURE
GATT is multilateral agreement, which regulates trade among about 150 countries. The purpose of the GATT is the substantial reduction of tariff and other trade barriers. COVERAGE The GATT covers tariffs on international trade among the participant countries. The international traded to goods only but not services. This is the main lacuna in GATT. APPROACH The GATT introduced to in order to regulate international trade and removal of tariffs and barriers among the participating countries. With the latest round, i. e. Uruguay Round agreement for which the enforcement of World Trade Organization i.
e. WTO comes into force with effect from. 1st January 1995. WTO WTO means world trade organization. it can be told that it is an extension of GATT i. e. where the GATT could not succeed that were also taken into account with the WTO. The WTO has different character not like GATT. GATT was created at the end of 2nd world war. The World Trade Organization is the international body dealing the rules of trade between nations. The WTO started its life from 1st January 1995. Though it is new organization still the trading system is old which is being derived from GATT. DISPUTE SETTLEMENT
A procedure for settling disputes existed under the old GATT has no fixed timetables, rulings etc. Many cased dragged for long time. Hence the Uruguay Round agreement introduced more structured process with more clearly defined stages in the procedure. It is also introduced greater discipline for the length of time a case should take to settle with flexible deadlines fixed for various stages in the procedure. Now the dispute settlement is under control of WTO, which maintains principles of Uruguay round. The settling of disputes is the responsibility of Dispute Settlement Body.
The DSB establishes the panel of experts to consider the case and rejects. The whole authority lies on DSB only. PRINCIPLES OF DISPUTE SETTLEMENT The WTO dispute settlement mechanism is a rule-oriented system where recommendations and rulings must aim at achieving a satisfactory settlement in accordance with the rights and obligations of the members under WTO agreement which specified in Article 3. 4 DSU). Under the DSU, the players who are in dispute settlement are subject to certain rules aimed for ensuring the unbiased recommendations and rulings.
The rules of conduct for their understanding on rules and procedures are applicable to panel members, appellate body members, experts assisting panels, arbitrators, secretariat staff and members of textile monitoring body and for all covered persons. If mutually agreed solution is not possible, the first objective of the dispute settlement system is normally to secure the withdrawal of the measures concerned if they are found to be inconstant with the WTO agreement under Article 3. 7 DSU. The procedures for dispute settlement, which are available in the DSU, have many features, which make it quasi-judicial in nature.
1. There is assured access to these procedures. 2. There is near automaticity in decision making in all key issues related to settlement of individual disputes. 3. Firm time limits are stipulated for each stage of process Besides, appellate review available. FUNCTIONS OF THE WTO The WTO agreements cover goods and services besides intellectual property. The WTO started with its functioning by taking the GATT for goods, GATS for services and TRIPS for intellectual property rights. It described as follows: Goods (under GATT)
1. Agriculture 2. Health regulations for farm products 3. Textiles and clothing 4. Product standards (TBT) 5. Investment measures 6. Anti-dumping measures 7. Customs valuation methods 8. Pre shipment inspection 9. Rules of origin 10. Import licensing 11. Subsidies and counter measures 12. Safeguards Services (Under GATS) 1. Movement of natural persons 2. Air transport 3. Financial services 4. Shipping 5. Telecommunications Intellectual Property rights (TRIPS) 1. Patents 2. Copyrights 3. Trademarks 4. Industrial designs
The WTO headed by a ministerial conference of all members and meets at least once every two years. The more frequent participation by trade ministers under the WTO intended to strengthen the political guidance of the WTO and enhance the prominence and credibility of its rules. The Marrakesh Agreement established that the WTO charges as such organization which provides a common institutional framework for the conduct of trade relations among its members for such matters that are related and associated with legal obligations.
All such included in the annexure of agreement such as Trade in goods, Trade in services, Intellectual Property rights and Settlement of Disputes. i. e. Trade Policy Review Mechanism. In order to exercise, the WTO functions through General Council. The general council meets 12 times in a year. About seven percent of all WTO members take part in its meetings. The members usually represented by delegations based in Geneva. The General Council turns itself into a body called Dispute Settlement Body or the body of Trade Policy Review Body.
The officials who are delegates of members will attend the day-to-day activities in WTO. The operation of the WTO depends on the collective input of thousands of civil servants and government officials who deal with trade issues in each member country. The decision-making in the WTO follows GATT practices and based on consultation and consensus. The consensus practice is of value of smaller countries and enhance their negotiate role. WTO provides implementation of multilateral trade agreements.
It also provides such platform where continuous negotiations among its member countries with respect to trade in goods and services. WTO also responsible settling disputes among its member countries. HOW ARE DISPUTES SETTLED The rule-based system would be worth only when systematic procedure initiated. The WTO installed such procedure. In the procedure, the rulings made by panel. The rulings include rejections. The WTO membership may accept or reject the same. The rulings stage only will come after consultations. The WTO always wants to see the dispute be settled through consultations.
Settlement of disputes is the responsibility of the Dispute Settlement Body. The DSB establishes the panel of experts to consider the case. Panels are like tribunals. But this tribunals i. e. panels make consultation with the countries in dispute. In case of disagreement between the parties, the WTO director general appoints them. The panel submits its report to the Dispute Settlement Body. The DSB may accept or reject the report. If still disagree between the parties, the parties may go for appeal. Only WTO members can take part in dispute settlement under the WTO.
The WTO settlement is not open to WTO observers, other international organizations, non-governmental organizations, local governments or private persons. The WTO dispute settlement mechanism provided for three main ways of resolving disputes. 1. Bilateral consolations 2. Good offices, conciliation and mediation 3. Adjudication including arbitration. The settlement of dispute has been fixed for some time schedule by the WTO. However the countries still are they are free to settle their dispute between in any stage of dispute. The approximate time scheduled detailed below.