The World Trade Organization (WTO) is one of the primary international trade organizations that help regulate and ensure fair trade practices across countries. One of the most crucial agreements that the WTO has in place is the Main Agreement, which outlines the organization`s core principles and rules.
The Main Agreement, also known as the Marrakesh Agreement, was signed in 1994 and came into effect on January 1, 1995. Its purpose is to establish a framework for free and fair trade practices between member states. The agreement has several components, each focused on a particular aspect of international trade.
One of the most important components of the Main Agreement is the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which was created in 1947 and later became part of the WTO. GATT is a set of rules that govern trade between countries, including the reduction of tariffs and the elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade.
Another critical component of the Main Agreement is the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This agreement sets out the minimum standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in all member countries, including patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
The Main Agreement also includes the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures. This agreement lays out the requirements and standards that countries must follow to protect human, animal, and plant health from potential risks arising from food and agricultural products.
Finally, the Main Agreement includes the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). This agreement aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessments do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade.
Overall, the Main Agreement serves as a fundamental foundation for the WTO and the global trading system. Its principles and rules provide a framework for fair and open trade between countries, promoting economic growth and development worldwide. As such, it remains a vital agreement for countries engaged in international trade, both now and in the future.