Gatt entered into force on 1 January 1948. Since that beginning, it has been refined, which eventually led to the creation, on 1 January 1995, of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which registered and expanded it. At that time, 125 nations were signatories to their agreements, which covered about 90% of world trade. Countries could restrict trade on national security grounds. These include the protection of patents, copyrights and public morals. The fourth round returned to Geneva in 1955 and lasted until May 1956. Twenty-six countries participated in the round. Tariffs of $2.5 billion have been abolished or reduced. At the same time, 15 countries focused on negotiating a simple trade agreement.
They agreed on the elimination of trade restrictions on $10 billion worth of trade, or one-fifth of the global total. The only feature of G.A.T.T. that is so important is that free trade is not done bilaterally (between one country and another) or multilaterally (between several countries), but in a fair and open global space. . . .