GATT stands for the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. It was a multilateral agreement that aimed at regulating global trade. As per the GATT’s preamble, its purpose was to substantially lower tariffs and other barriers to trade, and remove preferences on the basis of reciprocity and mutual advantage. GATT was discussed during the UN Conference on Trade and Employment and was a result of the unsuccessful attempt by governments to form the International Trade Organisation (ITO).
23 countries signed the GATT on 30th October 1947 in Geneva. It came into effect on 1st January 1948. It was in function till 14thApril 1994 when 123 countries signed in Marrakesh at the Uruguay Round Agreements, establishing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 1st January 1995.