The Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) is an international agreement established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. The purpose of the agreement is to ensure that technical regulations and standards do not create unnecessary barriers to international trade.

The TBT agreement requires WTO member countries to inform other member countries about proposed technical regulations and standards that could affect international trade. This notification allows other countries to review and comment on the proposed regulations before they are implemented.

The agreement also requires WTO member countries to use international standards, where possible, instead of creating their own standards. This helps to promote consistency in regulations and standards across countries, making it easier for businesses to trade internationally.

The TBT agreement applies to all types of products, including goods, services, and intellectual property. It also covers a wide range of technical regulations and standards, including product labeling, testing requirements, and packaging standards.

The TBT agreement has been successful in reducing technical barriers to trade and promoting international trade. However, there have been some criticisms of the agreement. Some argue that it allows developed countries to impose their standards on developing countries, which can be detrimental to their economies. Others argue that the agreement can be used as a tool for protectionism, as countries can use technical regulations and standards to block imports from other countries.

Despite these criticisms, the TBT agreement remains an important part of the international trade landscape. It helps to promote consistency and transparency in regulations and standards, which can benefit businesses and consumers around the world. As businesses continue to expand their operations globally, the TBT agreement will remain a key tool for promoting international trade.