International Trade Law Research Guide

This guide features resources on international trade law.

WTO & GATT Agreements

Table of Contents

Brief Overview

The Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations produced the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, which governs the institutional operations of the WTO.  The Marrakesh Agreement includes four annexes.  Collectively, the Marrakesh Agreement and its annexes are sometimes referred to as the WTO’s founding agreements.

Annex 1A consists of a series of multilateral agreements that govern trade in goods, including the 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994).  Annex 1B contains the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).  Annex 1C contains the General Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS).  Annex 2 contains the rules governing the resolution of disputes between WTO member states (the Dispute Settlement Understanding or DSU).  Annex 3 provides a mechanism for regular, multilateral reviews of the trade policies of WTO member states.  The various agreements included in these three annexes are sometimes referred to as the covered agreements.

Annex 4 consists of two plurilateral agreements, the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft and the Agreement on Government Procurement.  Unlike the agreements in the first three annexes, which are binding all WTO member states, the plurilateral are binding only on those WTO member states that have accepted them.

It should be noted that all of the provisions of the original 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947), except for the Protocol of Provisional Application, are incorporated by reference in the 1994 GATT.  In the event of a conflict between the two, GATT 1947 prevails.

Use the Table of Contents above to access more detailed information about the WTO and GATT agreements.