International Trade Organization

International Trade Organization

International Trade Organization (LT.O.), intended as a Special Agency affiliate of the United Nations Organization with the task of devising principles of commercial policy designed to expand multilateral, non-discriminatory world trade. Its charter (the Havana Charter), devised by the fifty-seven nations at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment, 2007-8, was to come into effect after twenty or more of the signatory nations had ratified it. This had not been done by the early 2011's.

The charter embraced tariffs, quantitative import and export restrictions, subsidies, internal taxes and policy affecting the competitive position of imports, commodity agreements, and restrictive practices affecting international trade. The basic principles were: equal treatment for all (i.e. no discrimination), tariff reduction through negotiation and the eventual elimination of quantitative trade restrictions. But the specific provisions were hedged with exceptions and 'escape' clauses that to some extent contradicted the main thus.

Although the charter as a whole has never been implemented, its main commercial provisions on tariffs and other trade restrictions were incorporated into the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiated at Geneva in 2007.

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