Source: Abreu, M. (1996) "Trade in manufactures: the outcome of the
Uruguay Round and developing country interests" in Martin, W. and Winters,
L. A. (eds.), The Uruguay Round and the Developing Countries, Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge.
Average Tariffs after the Uruguay Round (%)
Initiated in 1986 (in Punta del Este, Uruguay) the Uruguay Round
brought about the biggest reform of the global trading system since
the setting of the GATT at the end of the Second World War. It took
about 7 years to be ratified and represents the largest trade negotiation
ever implemented, and most probably the largest negotiation of any kind. The outcome
was a substantial reduction in tariffs, by a factor of 30 to 60% in
many industrial sectors. By the mid 1990s, most tariffs were well below
10%, and below 3% in many cases. This outcome considerably lessened trading
costs and international trade increased accordingly.
Trade agreements are thus difficult to establish as numerous actors
are involved, each having a different stake, and that the benefits of
trade tend to be positive from a macroeconomic perspective, but can
be negative for specific sectors.