The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was a multilateral trade agreement that emerged after the Second World War with the primary goal of promoting international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas. GATT was established in 1947 and served as the foundation for the international trading system until it was succeeded by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.

Key features and principles of GATT include:

1. **Non-Discrimination:**
– GATT’s most-favored-nation (MFN) principle stipulated that any advantage, favor, privilege, or immunity granted by a country to one trading partner should be extended to all GATT member countries. This principle aimed to ensure non-discriminatory treatment in international trade.

2. **Tariff Reduction:**
– GATT aimed to reduce and eliminate tariffs on goods through a series of negotiation rounds known as “rounds of trade talks.” The most notable round was the Uruguay Round, which concluded with the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995.

3. **Trade Liberalization:**
– GATT sought to promote free and open trade by encouraging countries to reduce barriers to trade, including both tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

4. **Negotiation Rounds:**
– GATT operated through a series of negotiation rounds where member countries would discuss and negotiate trade-related issues. The most significant rounds included the Kennedy Round, Tokyo Round, and Uruguay Round.

5. **Dispute Resolution:**
– GATT included provisions for the settlement of trade disputes among member countries. Disputes were typically resolved through consultation and negotiation, and GATT provided a framework for the resolution of conflicts.

6. **National Treatment:**
– The principle of national treatment stipulated that imported and domestically produced goods should be treated equally once they have entered a country’s market. This principle aimed to prevent discrimination against foreign products.

7. **Trade and Development:**
– GATT recognized the need to address the concerns of developing countries and included provisions to promote the economic development of less developed nations.

8. **Uruguay Round and Creation of the WTO:**
– The Uruguay Round of negotiations, which spanned from 1986 to 1994, resulted in the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. The WTO incorporated and expanded upon the principles of GATT.

The establishment of the WTO marked a transition from GATT, broadening the scope of international trade rules to cover not just goods but also services and intellectual property. The WTO continues to be the primary international organization overseeing trade agreements and dispute resolution.