The multilateral trade agreement established under US leadership in 1947 was the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This agreement was intended to promote and regulate international trade by reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade between member countries.
GATT was created during a time when the world was recovering from the devastation of World War II, and many countries were seeking ways to rebuild their economies. The agreement was signed by 23 countries, including the United States, and went into effect on January 1, 1948. Over time, more countries signed on to the agreement, and by the time it was replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, there were 128 member countries.
One of the key principles of GATT was the most-favored-nation principle, which stipulated that any concessions made by a member country to another member must be extended to all other members as well. This principle helped to promote fairness and equal treatment among member countries, and it was a significant factor in the success of the agreement.
GATT also established procedures for resolving disputes between member countries. The agreement created a system of panels and committees to hear disputes and make recommendations for resolving them. This system was designed to be faster and more efficient than traditional legal proceedings, and it helped to ensure that disputes were resolved quickly and fairly.
Overall, GATT was a successful agreement that helped to promote free and fair trade among member countries. It served as a precursor to the WTO, which has continued the work of GATT in promoting international trade and resolving disputes between member countries. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, multilateral trade agreements like GATT and the WTO will continue to play a critical role in promoting economic growth and stability around the globe.