The first WTO project was the Doha Round of Trade Agreements in 2001. It was a multilateral trade agreement among all WTO members. Developing countries would allow imports of financial services, particularly banks. This should modernize their markets. In return, developed countries would reduce agricultural subsidies. This would stimulate the growth of developing countries, which are good at food production. They do not have as much impact on economic growth as a multilateral agreement. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would have been larger than NAFTA. Negotiations ended on 4 October 2015. After becoming president, Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement. He promised to replace them with bilateral agreements. The TPP was located between the United States and eleven other countries bordering the Pacific Ocean.
It would have abolished tariffs and standardised trade practices. All global trade agreements are multilateral. The most successful is the general agreement on trade and customs. Twenty-three countries signed the GATT in 1947. The aim was to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers. Some regional trade agreements are multilateral. The most important was the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), ratified on January 1, 1994. Nafta quadrupled trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico from 1993 to 2018. The U.S.-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) came into force on July 1, 2020. The USMCA was a new trade agreement between the three countries, negotiated under President Donald Trump. The Uruguay cycle began in September 1986 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The focus has been on extending trade agreements to several new areas.
These include services and intellectual property. It has also improved the agricultural and textile trade. The Uruguay Round led to the creation of the World Trade Organization. On 15 April 1994, the 123 participating governments signed the WTO agreement in Marrakech, Morocco. The WTO has taken the lead in future global multilateral negotiations. The main drawback of multilateral agreements is that they are complex. This makes them difficult and tedious to negotiate. Sometimes the length of the negotiations means that it will not take place at all. The fifth advantage is in emerging countries. Bilateral trade agreements tend to favour the country with the best economy. This penalizes the weaker nation. But strengthening emerging markets helps the developed economy over time.
Multilateral agreements allow all signatories to be treated in the same way. No country can make better trade agreements to one country than another. Same land. It is particularly important for emerging economies. Many of them are smaller, which makes them less competitive. The status of the most favoured nation provides the best trading conditions a nation can obtain from a trading partner.