THE GATT has been provisionally given a limited scope, but its success of more than 47 years in promoting and ensuring the liberalization of much of world trade is undeniable. The continued decline in tariffs alone has contributed to the very strong growth in world trade in the 1950s and 1960s – about 8% per year on average. In addition, the dynamics of trade liberalization have contributed to trade growth throughout the GATT era surpassing steady output growth, a measure of countries` growing ability to trade with each other and reap the benefits of trade. The influx of new members during the Uruguay Round has shown that the multilateral trading system is recognized as an anchor for development and an instrument of economic and trade reform. Created more than a year before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a Western military alliance, GATT played an important role in the Cold War that began shortly after World War II. It has helped the U.S.-led capitalist West spread its influence by liberalizing trade through multilateral agreements. The West, with which Canada was linked, gained more economic allies through these agreements, which strengthened its global influence over the Soviet-led Eastern Communist bloc. After the Cold War, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, THE GATT became a true world organization – the WTO – and it was accepted that former communist countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania were admitted. The Uruguay Round Agricultural Agreement remains the most important agreement in the history of trade negotiations for the liberalisation of agricultural trade. The aim of the agreement was to improve market access for agricultural products, reduce national aid to agriculture in the form of price-distorting subsidies and quotas, eliminate agricultural export subsidies over time and harmonize health and plant health measures among Member States as much as possible. The third element of the GATT structure, which was later incorporated into the WTO, is an institutional presence maintained by the work of its secretariat. It is important that the Secretariat largely monitors the implementation of dispute resolution bodies that, in fact, define the mechanism for enforcing the rules of the trading system within the WTO system. These dispute resolution bodies have accelerated considerably in recent years and have culminated in decisions in a number of key areas, including banana trade (see THE WTO Director-General`s statement to the WTO General Council, 8 March 1999).