The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) remains a central document in international trade law. From its inception in 1947 until the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995, the GATT provided the legal and institutional framework for negotiating the relaxation of government-mandated trade protection of goods. It was originally intended that the agreement would be administered by an International Trade Organisation (ITO) – a specialised agency of the United Nations that would also act as a forum for the negotiation of international commitments on services, employment policy, international investment, economic development and the treatment of restrictive business practices. The ITO, however, proved too ambitious for some States, and attempts to create it finally died when President Truman announced that he would not submit the Charter to Congress for ratification. An Interim Committee for the ITO was set up under the auspices of the United Nations in 1948, which provided a legal status for the provisional treaty. The GATT remained the only multilateral instrument governing international trade until the establishment of the WTO, operating under the loose arrangement of the Interim Committee for forty-seven years. An updated (although legally distinct) version of the GATT was incorporated into the WTO as one of thirteen multilateral agreements on trade in goods. As a multilateral agreement, the GATT is a compulsory legal instrument, binding all incumbent WTO Members and acceding countries; unlike the plurilateral agreements, participation in the GATT is not optional.