The working hypothesis for collective bargaining was a linear reduction of 50% in tariffs, with the smallest number of exceptions. A long-term argument has developed about the trade effects of a uniform linear reduction on the dispersed rates (low tariffs and high rates quite far away) of the United States compared to the much more concentrated rates of the EEC, which also tended to be under the ownership of U.S. tariffs. The Uruguay Round, held from 1986 to 1993 and culminating in the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), also broadened the topics for discussion, including intellectual property. At the end of the Uruguay round, members signed the agreement on aspects of intellectual property rights that affect trade, commonly known as “TRIPS”. TRIPS has forced its members to harmonize some important elements of their patent, copyright and trademark laws. In the United States, Congress had to amend patent laws (which apply only to applications that came into effect on June 5, 1995), the most important of which were: (a) the calculation of patent duration; and b) the publication of pending patent applications. This series of meetings and reduced rates would continue, allowing for new GATT provisions in the process. The average tariff rate rose from about 22% when the GATT was signed in Geneva in 1947, to about 5% until the end of the Uruguay cycle completed in 1993, which also negotiated the creation of the WTO. They agreed to remove trade restrictions on $10 billion or one-fifth of the world`s trade zone. A total of 23 countries signed the GATT agreement on 30 October 1947, paving the way for its implementation on 30 June 1948. The Uruguay cycle began in 1986. It was the most ambitious cycle to date that hoped to extend GATT`s jurisdiction to important new areas such as services, capital, intellectual property, textiles and agriculture.
123 countries participated in the cycle. The Uruguay Round was also the first round of multilateral trade negotiations in which developing countries played an active role.  With the reduction of tariffs, non-tariff barriers (NTBs) have attracted increasing attention, as they are distorting trade such as flat-rate tariffs.