Export competition/subsidies

World Trade Organisation

Type: Article
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

Gain insight into the Uruguay Round and the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.

Key points of this explanation article include:

  • The present rules and commitments on agriculture are often called the “Uruguay Round reform programme” — they were negotiated in the Uruguay Round and they include reductions in subsidies and protection as well as other disciplines on the trade.
  • The Agreement on Agriculture, (the “Agreement”), came into force on 1 January 1995.  The preamble to the Agreement recognizes that the agreed long-term objective of the reform process initiated by the Uruguay Round reform programme is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system.
  • The proliferation of export subsidies in the years leading to the Uruguay Round was one of the key issues that were addressed in the agricultural negotiations.
  • Developed country Members are required to reduce, in equal annual steps over a period of 6 years, the base-period volume of subsidized exports by 21 per cent and the corresponding budgetary outlays for export subsidies by 36 per cent. In the case of developing country Members, the required cuts are 14 per cent over 10 years with respect to volumes, and 24 per cent over the same period with respect to budgetary outlays.
  • The main reduction commitments are in market access, domestic support and export subsidies. But the Agriculture Agreement contains other provisions, including export restrictions, a “peace clause”, dispute settlement and further negotiations.
Switzerland - World Trade Organisation
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