Free trade agreements, which are free trade zones, are generally outside the scope of the multilateral trading system. However, WTO members must inform the secretariat when new free trade agreements are concluded and, in principle, the texts of free trade agreements are reviewed by the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements.  Although a dispute in free trade areas is not the subject of litigation within the WTO`s dispute resolution body, “there is no assurance that WTO panels will comply and reject jurisdiction in a particular case.”  GATT`s normal operations focused on negotiations on specific trade issues affecting certain commodity or trade nations, but major multilateral trade conferences were held at regular intervals to develop tariff reductions and other issues. Seven such “towers” took place from 1947 to 1993, starting with those held in Geneva in 1947 (at the same time as the signing of the general agreement); 1949 in Annecy, France; to Torquay, Eng., 1951; Geneva in 1956 and again in 1960/62. The most important cycles were the Kennedy Round (1964-1967), the Tokyo Round (1973-1979) and the Uruguay Round (1986-1994), all of which took place in Geneva. These agreements reduced average tariffs on the world`s industrial products from 40% of their market value in 1947 to less than 5% in 1993. Even in the absence of the constraints imposed by the most favoured nation and national treatment clauses, it is sometimes easier to obtain general multilateral agreements than separate bilateral agreements. In many cases, the potential loss resulting from a concession to a country is almost as great as that which would result from a similar concession to many countries. The benefits to the most efficient producers from global tariff reductions are significant enough to warrant substantial concessions. Since the implementation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, 1948) and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO, 1995), global tariffs have declined considerably and world trade has increased. The WTO contains provisions on reciprocity, the status of the most favoured nation and the domestic treatment of non-tariff restrictions. She has been involved in the architecture of the most comprehensive and important multilateral trade agreements of modern times. The North American Free Trade Agreement (1993) and the European Free Trade Association (1995) are examples of these trade agreements and their representative institutions.
Even without the constraints imposed by the most favoured national provisions and in the following treatment clauses, it is sometimes easier to obtain general multilateral agreements than separate bilateral agreements. In many cases, the potential loss resulting from a concession to a country is almost as great as that which would result from a similar concession to all or to many countries. The benefits that efficient producers gain by reducing global tariffs are significant enough to warrant substantial concessions. The most successful and important multilateral trade agreement in modern times is the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It contains provisions on reciprocity, the status of the most favoured nation and the national treatment of non-tariff restrictions. Since the GATT came into force in 1948, global tariffs have fallen significantly and world trade has increased rapidly. Economists have tried to assess the extent to which free trade agreements can be considered public goods. First, they deal with a key element of free trade agreements, the system of on-board tribunals, which act as arbiters in international trade disputes. These serve as a clarification of existing statutes and international economic policies, as confirmed by trade agreements.  The Genoa Conference in Italy in May 1922, and the World Economic Conference of May 1927, both recommended that trade agreements contain, as far as possible, the MFN clause.