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These agreements are meant to make it easier for people around the world to trade goods and services.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was set up in 1947 at the request of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment. Countries that signed the agreement went through 8 hard rounds, from Geneva in 1947 to Doha in 2001, to agree on rules and regulations for international trade. These talks were part of a plan to lower tariffs and other taxes to make international trade stronger. When the participating countries couldn’t agree on the idea of the International Trade Organization, which was another body proposed by the US, GATT was replaced by the World Trade Organization in 1995. More than 90% of international trade is done according to the rules of GATT, which have changed over the past almost 50 years. Tariffs have gone down all over the world because of GATT, which has also led to a lot more trade in goods.
1986 was the year that GATS was made. GATS stands for the General Agreement on Trade in Services. Even though it covers most international trade, it was not part of GATT for a number of years, which was surprising. But the complaints of people who traded services could not be ignored for long, so in 1995, at the Uruguay round of GATT, GATS was put into effect. The provisions of GATS are similar to those of its counterpart, which is called GATT. However, while GATT is about trade goods, the provisions of GATS are about trade services.
GATT is about trade and tariffs, but GATS is about trade in services.