Presentation of the objective of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) To prepare for the GATT, the 23 signatory countries conducted negotiations among themselves to reduce certain tariffs and other barriers to trade. Canada has negotiated bilaterally with seven of the countries. His talks with the United States were the most extensive of all that took place at that time. Canada had negotiated trade agreements with the United States in 1935 and 1938, but when the two nations signed the GATT, it became the basic agreement on trade relations between them and replaced the 1938 agreement (see Canada-United States Economic Relations). GATT rules required each member state to grant all members the same privileges with respect to tariffs and other trade measures that it grants to the most-favoured-nation (MFN) country with which it negotiates. This is called the principle of the most feared and which was put in place to eliminate trade discrimination. Reduction of tariffs and new rules to control the spread of non-tariff barriers and voluntary export restrictions. 102 countries participated in the round. Trade concessions worth $19 billion have been made. Quantitative restrictions on imports and export subsidies were generally prohibited by the GATT, but derogations were allowed in certain circumstances. The two main exceptions for Canada were the MFA and the farm products regime.
The latter products have been excluded from the GATT trade liberalization framework, mainly because of the insistence of the United States. Canada and other major agricultural exporters have raised strong objections (see Agriculture and Food). Canada also objected to the special time waiver granted by the United States in 1955 to limit imports of dairy products, even though it had no national control over production. Subsequently, after much controversy, Germany and Switzerland obtained further waivers to limit agricultural imports. The GATT, created more than a year before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a Western military alliance, played an important role in the Cold War that began shortly after World War II. It helped the US-led capitalist West spread its influence by liberalizing trade through multilateral agreements. The West, with which Canada was allied, gained more economic allies through these agreements, which strengthened its global influence over the Soviet-led eastern communist bloc. After the Cold War, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, gatt transformed into a truly global organisation – the WTO – and welcomed former communist countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania. The GATT was intended to settle disputes between the Contracting Parties smoothly. Gatt allows Member States to resolve problems among themselves by consulting each other on trade issues. First, the contracting parties should settle disputes through bilateral discussions.
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