Various Provisions Of Agreement On Agriculture

The agreement has been criticized by civil society groups for reducing customs protection for small farmers, an important source of income in developing countries, while allowing rich countries to continue subsidizing agriculture in their own countries. (7) The application of the special safeguard measure must be carried out in a transparent manner. Each member acting under paragraph 1, point a), informs the Agriculture Committee in writing, including relevant data, within ten days of the implementation of this measure. In cases where changes in consumption volume are to be attributed to individual tariff positions that must be taken under paragraph 4, the relevant data include the information and methods used to allocate these changes. A member acting under paragraph 4 gives interested members the opportunity to discuss with him the conditions for the application of these measures. Any member acting under paragraph 1, point b), informs the Agriculture Committee, in writing, within ten days of the implementation of the first measure or for perishable and seasonal products, in writing, including relevant data, within ten days of the implementation of the first measure or for perishable and seasonal products. , from the first step in a given period. Members undertake, as far as possible, not to resort to the provisions of paragraph 1, point b), when the quantities imported from the products concerned decrease. In both cases, a member who takes such a step gives interested members the opportunity to discuss with him the conditions for the application of these measures.

Export subsidies are the third pillar. The 1995 agricultural agreement required industrialized countries to reduce export subsidies by at least 36% (in value terms) or by 21% (by volume) over a six-year value. For developing countries, the agreement called for reductions of 24% (in value) and 14% (in volume) over ten years. Although agriculture has always been under GATT, there have been some significant differences in the rules for primary agricultural products as opposed to industrial products before the WTO. The 1947 GATT allowed countries to use export subsidies for primary agricultural products, while export subsidies for industrial products were prohibited. The only conditions were that agricultural export subsidies should not be used to cover more than a fair share of world merchandise exports (Article XVI:3 of GATT). The GATT rules also allowed countries to resort, under certain conditions, to import restrictions (for example. B import quota), particularly where these restrictions were necessary to impose effective measures to limit domestic production (Article XI, paragraph 2, sub c) of the GATT). This derogation was also conditional on the fact that a minimum share of imports relative to domestic production was maintained. The 1947 GATT initially applied to agriculture, but was incomplete, and the signatory states (or “contracting parties”) excluded this sector from the scope of the principles set out in the general agreement.