Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which has been superseded as an international organization
by the WTO. An updated General Agreement is now one of the WTOs agreements.
GATT 1947 The
old (pre-1994) version of the GATT.
GATT 1994 The
new version of the General Agreement, incorporated into the WTO, which governs trade in
governments (first letter capitalized, in WTO style).
Most-favoured-nation treatment (GATT Article I, GATS Article II and TRIPS Article 4), the
principle of not discriminating between ones trading partners.
The principle of giving others the same treatment as ones own nationals. GATT
Article III requires that imports be treated no less favourably than the same or similar
domestically-produced goods once they have passed customs. GATS Article XVII and TRIPS
Article 3 also deal with national treatment for services and intellectual property
TPRB, TPRM The Trade
Policy Review Body is General Council operating under special procedures for meetings
to review trade policies and practices of individual WTO members under the Trade Policy
Degree to which trade policies and practices, and the process by which they are
established, are open and predictable.
Multilateral trade negotiations launched at Punta del Este, Uruguay in September 1986 and
concluded in Geneva in December 1993. Signed by Ministers in Marrakesh, Morocco, in April
see tariff binding
The production, advertising, sale and distribution of products via telecommunications networks.
casual term used to infer that a country which does not make any trade concessions,
profits, nonetheless, from tariff cuts and concessions made by other countries in
negotiations under the most-favoured-nation principle.
An international nomenclature developed by the World Customs Organization, which is
arranged in six digit codes allowing all participating countries to classify traded goods
on a common basis. Beyond the six digit level, countries are free to introduce national
distinctions for tariffs and many other purposes.
Technology Agreement, or formally the Ministerial-Declaration on Trade in
Information Technology Products, under which participants will remove tariffs on IT
products by the year 2000.
Negotiations aimed at expanding ITAs product coverage.
Tariff so low that it costs the government more to collect it than the revenue it
concessions List of bound tariff rates.
Commitment not to increase a rate of duty beyond an agreed level. Once a rate of duty is
bound, it may not be raised without compensating the affected parties.
Higher import duties on semi-processed products than on raw materials, and higher still on
finished products. This practice protects domestic processing industries and discourages
the development of processing activity in the countries where raw materials originate.
Relatively high tariffs, usually on sensitive products, amidst generally low
tariff levels. For industrialized countries, tariffs of 15 per cent and above are
generally recognized as tariff peaks.
duties on merchandise imports. Levied either on an ad valorem basis (percentage of value)
or on a specific basis (e.g. $7 per 100 kgs.). Tariffs give price advantage to similar
locally-produced goods and raise revenues for the government.
Customs Organization, a multilateral body located in Brussels through which participating
countries seek to simplify and rationalize customs procedures.
Non-tariff measures back
Article VI of the GATT 1994 permits the imposition of anti-dumping duties against dumped
goods, equal to the difference between their export price and their normal value, if
dumping causes injury to producers of competing products in the importing country.
Measures taken by exporters to evade anti-dumping or countervailing duties.
measures Action taken by the importing country, usually in the form of increased
duties to offset subsidies given to producers or exporters in the exporting country.
when goods are exported at a price less than their normal value, generally meaning they
are exported for less than they are sold in the domestic market or third-country markets,
or at less than production cost.
measures such as quotas, import licensing systems, sanitary regulations, prohibitions,
Undertaking by an exporter to raise the export price of the product to avoid the
possibility of an anti-dumping duty.
inspection the practice of employing specialized private companies to check
shipment details of goods ordered overseas i.e. price, quantity, quality, etc.
Quantitative restrictions specific limits on the quantity or value of goods that
can be imported (or exported) during a specific time period.
rules of origin
Laws, regulations and administrative procedures which determine a products country
of origin. A decision by a customs authority on origin can determine whether a shipment
falls within a quota limitation, qualifies for a tariff preference or is affected by an
anti-dumping duty. These rules can vary from country to country.
Action taken to protect a specific industry from an unexpected build-up of imports
governed by Article XIX of the GATT 1994.
are two general types of subsidies: export and domestic. An export subsidy is a benefit
conferred on a firm by the government that is contingent on exports. A domestic subsidy is
a benefit not directly linked to exports.
Procedures relating to the agricultural market-access provision in which all non-tariff
measures are converted into tariffs.
Removing obstacles to the movement of goods across borders (e.g. simplification of customs
VRA, VER, OMA
Voluntary restraint arrangement, voluntary export restraint, orderly marketing
arrangement. Bilateral arrangements whereby an exporting country (government or industry)
agrees to reduce or restrict exports without the importing country having to make use of
quotas, tariffs or other import controls.
Textiles and clothing back
ATC The WTO
Agreement on Textiles and Clothing which integrates trade in this sector back to GATT
rules within a ten-year period.
When an exporting country uses part of the following years quota during the current
carry over When
an exporting country utilizes the previous years unutilized quota.
Avoiding quotas and other restrictions by altering the country of origin of a product.
CTG Council for
Trade in Goods oversees WTO agreements on goods, including the ATC.
programme The phasing out of MFA restrictions in four stages starting on 1 January
1995 and ending on 1 January 2005.
International Textiles and Clothing Bureau Geneva-based group of some
20 developing country exporters of textiles and clothing.
Arrangement (1974-94) under which countries whose markets are disrupted by increased
imports of textiles and clothing from another country were able to negotiate quota
swing When an
exporting country transfers part of a quota from one product to another restrained
Textiles Monitoring Body, consisting of a chairman plus ten members acting in a personal
capacity, oversees the implementation of ATC commitments.
safeguard mechanism Allows members to impose restrictions against individual exporting
countries if the importing country can show that both overall imports of a product and
imports from the individual countries are entering the country in such increased
quantities as to cause or threaten serious damage to the relevant domestic
ECs financial reform plans for 200006 aimed at strengthening the union with a
view to receiving new members. Includes reform of the CAP (see below).
Any measure which acts to restrain imports at point of entry.
spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.
box Category of
domestic support. Green box: supports considered not to distort trade and therefore
permitted with no limits. Blue box: permitted supports linked to production, but
subject to production limits and therefore minimally trade-distorting. Amber box:
supports considered to distort trade and therefore subject to reduction commitments.
Group of agricultural exporting nations lobbying for agricultural trade liberalization. It
was formed in 1986 in Cairns, Australia just before the beginning of the Uruguay Round.
Current membership: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Fiji,
Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and
Agricultural Policy The EUs comprehensive system of production targets and
marketing mechanisms designed to manage agricultural trade within the EU and with the rest
of the world.
FAO/WHO commission that deals with international standards on food safety.
prices and production are higher or lower than levels that would usually exist in a
Paid by governments to producers of certain commodities and based on the difference
between a target price and the domestic market price or loan rate, whichever is the less.
enhancement programme programme of US export subsidies given generally to compete
with subsidized agricultural exports from the EU on certain export markets.
Concept which discourages opening the domestic market to foreign agricultural products on
the principle that a country must be as self-sufficient as possible for its basic dietary
Encompasses any measure which acts to maintain producer prices at levels above those
prevailing in international trade; direct payments to producers, including deficiency
payments, and input and marketing cost reduction measures available only for agricultural
Office of Epizootics Deals with international standards concerning animal health.
idea that agriculture has many functions in addition to producing food and fibre, e.g.
environmental protection, landscape preservation, rural employment, etc.
Provision in Article 13 of the Agriculture Agreement says agricultural subsidies
committed under the agreement cannot be challenged under other WTO agreements, in
particular the Subsidies Agreement and GATT. Expires at the end of 2003.
Programme for reducing subsidies and protection and other reforms under the Agriculture
Sanitary and Phytosanitary regulations government standards to protect human,
animal and plant life and health, to help ensure that food is safe for consumption.
Customs duty rate which varies in response to domestic price criterion.
Intellectual property back
Treaty, administered by WIPO, for the protection of the rights of authors in their
literary and artistic works.
on Biological Diversity
Unauthorized representation of a registered trademark carried on goods identical or
similar to goods for which the trademark is registered, with a view to deceiving the
purchaser into believing that he/she is buying the original goods.
indications Place names (or words associated with a place) used to identify products
(for example, Champagne, Tequila or Roquefort) which
have a particular quality, reputation or other characteristic because they come from that
property rights Ownership of ideas, including literary and artistic works (protected
by copyright), inventions (protected by patents), signs for distinguishing goods of an
enterprise (protected by trademarks) and other elements of industrial property.
Intellectual property rights.
Treaty, administered by WIPO, for the protection of geographical indications and their
Treaty, administered by WIPO, for the repression of false or deceptive indications of
source on goods.
to the requirement of the TRIPS Agreement applying to WTO Members which do not yet provide
product patent protection for pharmaceuticals and for agricultural chemicals. Since
1 January 1995, when the WTO agreements entered into force, these countries have to
establish a means by which applications of patents for these products can be filed. (An
additional requirement says they must also put in place a system for granting
exclusive marketing rights for the products whose patent applications have
Treaty, administered by WIPO, for the protection of industrial intellectual property, i.e.
patents, utility models, industrial designs, etc.
Unauthorized copying of copyright materials for commercial purposes and unauthorized
commercial dealing in copied materials.
Treaty, administered by WIPO, UNESCO and ILO, for the protection of the works of
performers, broadcasting organizations and producers of phonograms.
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.
International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Union internationale
pour la protection des obtentions végétales)
Treaty for the protection of intellectual property in respect of lay-out designs of
Intellectual Property Organization.
measure Requirement that a certain quantity of production must be exported.
measure Requirement that the investor purchase a certain amount of local materials for
incorporation in the investors product.
Requirement that the investor export to certain countries or region.
measure Requirement that the investor use earnings from exports to pay for imports.
Trade-related investment measures.
Dispute settlement back
An independent seven-person body that, upon request by one or more parties to the dispute,
reviews findings in panel reports.
The automatic chronological progression for settling trade disputes in regard
to panel establishment, terms of reference, composition and adoption procedures.
Settlement Body when the WTO General Council meets to settle trade disputes.
DSU The Uruguay
Round Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.
impairment Damage to a countrys benefits and expectations from its WTO
membership through another countrys change in its trade regime or failure to carry
out its WTO obligations.
Consisting of three experts, this independent body is established by the DSB to examine
and issue recommendations on a particular dispute in the light of WTO provisions.
In telecoms, the charge made by one countrys telephone network operator for calls
originating in another country.
Having an office, branch, or subsidiary in a foreign country.
WTOs General Agreement on Trade in Services.
Obligations which should be applied to all services sector at the entry into force of the
Trade liberalizing commitments in services which members are prepared to make early on.
modes of delivery
How international trade in services is supplied and consumed. Mode 1: cross border supply;
mode 2: consumption abroad; mode 3: foreign commercial presence; and mode 4: movement of
Transportation using more than one mode. In the GATS negotiations, essentially
door-to-door services that include international shipping.
The equivalent of tariff schedules in GATT, laying down the commitments accepted
voluntarily or through negotiation by WTO members.
People, as distinct from juridical persons such as companies and organizations.
countrys proposal for further liberalization.
Additional agreements attached to the GATS. The Second Protocol deals with the 1995
commitments on financial services. The Third Protocol deals with movement of natural
prudential In financial services, terms used to describe an objective of market
regulation by authorities to protect investors and depositors, to avoid instability or
Schedule of Specific Commitments A WTO members list of
commitments regarding market access and bindings regarding national treatment.
commitments See schedule.
Caribbean and Pacific countries. Group of 71 countries with preferential trading relation
with the EU under the Lomé Treaty.
Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The seven ASEAN members of the WTO Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand often speak
in the WTO as one group on general issues. The other ASEAN members are Laos and Vietnam.
Caribbean Community and Common Market comprises 15 countries.
CTD The WTO
Committee on Trade and Development
Members apply a common external tariff (e.g. the EC).
Communities (official name of the European Union in the WTO).
Free Trade Association.
free trade area
Trade within the group is duty free but members set own tariffs on imports from
non-members (e.g. NAFTA).
G15 Group of 15
developing countries acting as the main political organ for the Non-Aligned Movement.
G77 Group of
developing countries set up in 1964 at the end of the first UNCTAD (originally 77, but now
more than 130 countries).
G7 Group of
seven leading industrial countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom,
group of Latin-American members of the WTO.
System of Preferences programmes by developed countries granting preferential
tariffs to imports from developing countries.
High-Level Meeting for LDCs, held in October 1997 in Geneva.
International Trade Centre, originally established by the old GATT and is now operated
jointly by the WTO and the UN, the latter acting through UNCTAD. Focal point for technical
cooperation on trade promotion of developing countries.
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
American Free Trade Agreement of Canada, Mexico and the US.
EC, Japan and the United States.
African Customs Union comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.
Special and differential treatment provisions for developing countries.
Contained in several WTO agreements.
Nations Centre for International Trade Law, drafts model laws such as the one on
UNCTAD The UN
Conference on Trade and Development.
Trade and environment back
The Agenda for the 21st Century a declaration from the 1992 Earth Summit (UN
Conference on the Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro.
GATT Article listing allowed exceptions to the trade rules.
An MEA dealing with hazardous waste.
BTA Border tax
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. An MEA.
CTE The WTO
Committee on Trade and Environment.
ex ante, ex post
Before and after a measure is applied.
LCA Life cycle
analysis a method of assessing whether a good or service is environmentally
Multilateral environmental agreement.
An MEA dealing with the depletion of the earths ozone layer.
PPM Process and
TBT The WTO
Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
Permission granted by WTO members allowing a WTO member not to comply with normal
commitments. Waivers have time limits and extensions have to be justified.