The New GATT: Implications for the United States

By Susan M. Collins; Barry P. Bosworth | Go to book overview
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Services and Intellectual Property Rights

Bernard Hoekman

After seven years of intensive discussions, the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations was concluded on December 15, 1993. Participating countries agreed to establish a new World Trade Organization (WTO), which, among other things, is to administer three multilateral trade agreements: the already existing General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) as amended during the negotiations (the so-called GATT 1994), as well as the newly created General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). With the establishment of the WTO, much of the original intention of the creators of the Bretton Woods system will be realized--albeit more than forty-five years later than intended. In contrast to the GATT, which is only a treaty, the WTO will have the formal status of an international organization, on a par with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Of the many agreements reached in the Uruguay Round, the GATS and the TRIPs Agreement are of particular interest because they not only extend the reach of the multilateral trading system to services and intellectual property (IP) protection (the GATT only applies to trade in goods), but also go beyond the GATT by addressing

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The author is grateful to Jagdish Bhagwati, Barry Bosworth, Carlos Primo Braga, Alan Deardorff, John Jackson, Adrian Otten, and Arvind Subramanian for helpful discussions and remarks. The views expressed in this paper are personal and should not be attributed to the World Bank. Much of the analysis of the GATS draws on Hoekman and Sauvé ( 1994).

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