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GATT Rounds

Round A cycle of multilateral trade negotiations under the aegis of GATT, culminating in simultaneous trade agreements among participating countries to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade. Eight "Rounds" have been completed thus far: Geneva, 1947-48; Annecy, France, 1949; Torquay, England, 1950-51; Geneva, 1956; Geneva, 1960-62 (the Dillon Round); Geneva, 1963-67 (the Kennedy Round); Geneva, 1973-79 (the Tokyo Round); and Geneva, 1986-1993 (the "Uruguay Round").

Dillon Round Trade negotiations that took place under the aegis of GATT from 1960 to 1962, named after Douglas Dillon, then the U.S. under secretary of state, who publicly proposed the negotiations.

Kennedy Round The popular name for the sixth and at that time the most ambitious "Round" of trade negotiations under the aegis of GATT. The Kennedy Round, which lasted from 1963 to 1967, yielded agreements reducing prevailing tariff levels maintained by developed countries on industrial products by about one-third, an "Anti-Dumping Code, "and a short-lived International Wheat Agreement which was intended to stabilize world wheat prices. (The Wheat Agreement replaced the latest in a series of International Wheat Agreements going back to the 1950s.)

Tokyo Round The Tokyo Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, formally initiated by the 1973 Tokyo Declaration, was the most comprehensive effort up to that time to eliminate, reduce or control non-tariff barriers that restrict non-agricultural trade, and was especially notable for having negotiated several codes of conduct designed to curtail the use of non-tariff barriers as instruments of protection. More countries participated in these negotiations than in any previous Round, including more than 20 developing countries that were not GATT members and several countries of Eastern Europe. The Tokyo Round was carried out in Geneva and concluded there in 1979.

Uruguay Round The Uruguay Round, concluded in Geneva in December 1993, was the latest series of multilateral trade negotiations aimed at revising, updating and expanding the coverage of the GATT. The Round was formally launched in September 1986 at the GATT Ministerial in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The negotiations focused on the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and on the development of clear, enforceable international trading rules. The provisions of the Uruguay Round agreement accorded more time to developing countries than industrialized countries for coming into compliance; least developed countries sometimes were accorded even more time or exempted altogether. The following are highlights of the agreement. Tariffs: GATT member countries agreed to cut their import tariffs by a 36-percent average. Textiles: Countries agreed to end the 20-year-old system of import quotas on textiles and apparel by 2005; quotas will be converted into tariffs, which will be reduced over time. Agriculture: Countries agreed to scale back direct export subsidies by 36 percent below rates in place between 1986 and 1990, by 2001, and to reduce the quantity of subsidized commodities exported. They also agreed to convert quotas, import licenses and other import limits into tariffs that would be gradually reduced. Services: Countries agreed to create basic rules so that services providers are afforded the same treatment overseas as in their home markets. Negotiations in some services sectors will continue into 1996. Intellectual Property: Countries agreed to protect and enforce patents, trademarks and copyrights, and to limit the trade of counterfeited creative works and inventions. Investments: Countries agreed to eliminate investment measures that limit or force certain types of investments, to offer "national treatment" to foreign investors and to eliminate quotas and other restraints. Subsidies: Countries agreed to make rules concerning the trade-legality of subsidies more predictable by defining three classes: prohibited, actionable and non-actionable subsidies. Dumping: Countries agreed to create more detailed rules governing the ability to GATT members to take action against the imports of a product sold at an unfairly discounted export price. Safeguards: Countries agreed to strengthen rules concerning temporary import limits applied to protect domestic industries from surges of fairly traded imports (i.e., safeguards). Members agreed not to maintain safeguard protections for more than eight years, and to prohibit "gray area measures"--voluntary export restraints and other informal agreements to curtail fairly traded imports. Institutional Structure: Members agreed to create a World Trade Organization, a permanent organization, that would replace the GATT (which was meant to be a temporary structure) with a stronger institution. Dispute Resolution: Members agreed to strengthen GATT's dispute resolution rules by allowing countries only to block findings by GATT expert panels if all members oppose the finding.

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