The Multilateral Trading System:
50 years of achievement
The Tokyo Round, 1973-79
Another decade, and GATT negotiations moved outside Europe for the first time. The seventh round was launched at a ministerial meeting in Tokyo, 12-14 September 1973, seen here.
After the inauguration, the hard bargaining returned to Geneva.
The Tokyo Round took a broader look at the trade rules than its predecessor, the Kennedy Round, with mixed results. Participation swelled again to 102 countries. The tariff negotiations led to further substantial reductions in customs duties. A series of agreements were reached on various non-tariff barriers, but they were only signed by some participants - they became known as the Tokyo Round "codes".
However, the talks failed to come to grips with fundamental reforms in agricultural trade, and stopped short of providing a new agreement on "safeguards" (emergency import measures). The first steps in that direction were to take place in the next round.