Overview – WTO Agricultural Rules
The WTO Agreement on Agriculture was a very considerable achievement in the reform of agricultural trade policy. This Agreement was concluded as part of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations in 1994. It brought agricultural trade within world trade rules for the first time. WTO Members recognised that the Uruguay Round Agreement was only the beginning of the process of reducing agricultural support and protection. In that Agreement, they committed themselves to initiating further negotiations to continue the process after 2000. These negotiations are now part of the WTO Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which were launched in 2001. However, nine years on, these talks have yet to be concluded.
Agricultural Trade Rules in the WTO outlines the evolution of agricultural policy rules first within the GATT and then the WTO and describes the negotiation of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture and the Doha Development Round.
The central position occupied by developing countries in the Doha negotiations is unprecedented. Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) looks at the special treatment given to developing countries in the WTO system.
The Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) is another WTO agreement that impacts on agricultural trade. This section examines the objectives of the SPS and how this has influenced disputes between member countries.
WTO Dispute Settlement is one of the cornerstones of the WTO. This section examines the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) Process and looks at agricultural cases taken under the DSU.
Negotiating the Doha Round describes the process of negotiation behind the Doha Round as well as offering an insight into the negotiating positions of the key negotiating groups. The state of play in the negotiations around the main pillars of market access, domestic support and export subsidies is briefly described.
What would be the impact of a successful conclusion to the Doha Round on EU agricultural policy and promoting greater policy coherence with development policy? The implications of a Doha agreement for EU agricultural policy explores the potential impacts.
Following the breakdown of the Doha negotiations in July 2008, the future of the Doha Round examines the reasons for the collapse, whether the talks can be revived and what the alternatives to a successful Doha Round might be.