The most recent, the Uruguay Round, addressed issues such as tariffs, services, and the trade related aspects of intellectual property and investment measures. The Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations was signed in April 1994. The Uruguay Round agreement was approved and implemented by the U.S. Congress in December 1994, and went into effect on January 1, 1995. The implementing legislation, known as the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, was passed in December, 1994.
In any federal regime dedicated to maintaining open markets - whether it is the GATT/WTO regime to liberalize trade between WTO member states, or the European Community (EC) regime to create free trade between EC member states, or the United States regime to maintain an open market among its fifty U.S. states - experience teaches that domestic regulations enacted by member states sometimes have a negative impact on trade. In some cases the negative trade effects are unintended, but on other occasions it has been clear that member states are using domestic regulations to give local producers a competitive advantage. The WTO inherited a basic structure of policing rules from the 1947 GATT agreement. The core GATT provisions for this purpose are the two-step set of rules in Articles III and XX. ...Show more