Domestic support regimes for agriculture are governed by the agriculture agreement, which came into force in 1995 and was negotiated during the Uruguay Round (1986-1994). The long-term goal of the AoA is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system and to initiate a reform process through negotiations on promised commitments and safeguards and…
What Are The Main Features Of Wto Agreement On Agriculture
Domestic support regimes for agriculture are governed by the agriculture agreement, which came into force in 1995 and was negotiated during the Uruguay Round (1986-1994). The long-term goal of the AoA is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system and to initiate a reform process through negotiations on promised commitments and safeguards and by defining more effective and operationally effective rules and disciplines. Agriculture is therefore special, because the sector has its own agreement, the provisions of which are given priority. Before the Uruguay Round negotiations, it became increasingly clear that the causes of confusion in global agriculture went beyond the import access problems, which had been the traditional centre of gravity of the GATT negotiations. To reach the root causes of the problems, disciplines were considered essential for all agricultural trade measures, including national agricultural policy and agricultural export subsidies. In addition, clearer rules on health and plant health measures were deemed necessary, both in their own legislation and in avoiding the circumvention of stricter rules on access to imports through unjustified and protectionist application of food security, as well as animal and plant health measures. However, in practice, many non-tariff restrictions have been applied to imports, without the fact that domestic production has been effectively restricted and maintained without any minimal access to imports. In some cases, this objective has been achieved through the application of measures that are not expressly provided for in Article XI. In other cases, country-specific exceptions and exceptions, such as grandfather clauses, derogations and membership protocols, have been taken into account.
In other cases, non-tariff import restrictions have been maintained without apparent justification. In the run-up to the 1986 GATT Ministerial Conference in Punta del Este, Uruguay, agricultural lobbies in industrialized countries have vehemently opposed agricultural trade-offs. In this context, the idea of excluding “trade-neutral” production and subsidies from WTO commitments was first proposed in 1987 by the United States and soon replicated by the EU.  By guaranteeing continued support to farmers, it has also neutralized the opposition. In exchange for the integration of agriculture into WTO disciplines and the obligation to reduce trade-distorting subsidies in the future, developed countries could maintain subsidies that result in “no more than minimal trade distortion” in order to achieve different public policy objectives.  Although agriculture is still covered by the GATT, there were significant differences in the rules for primary agricultural products as opposed to industrial products before the WTO.