In July 2008, a group of ministers travelled to Geneva to try to negotiate a breakthrough on key issues. Consultations continued from September. On the basis of more than a year of negotiations, the Chair of the Agricultural Negotiations published on 6 December 2008 a fourth revision of the draft (often referred to as “Rev.4”) in order to record the progress made and identify the remaining gaps. The agreement has been criticized by civil society groups for reducing tariff protection for smallholder farmers, an important source of income in developing countries, while allowing rich countries to further subsidize domestic agriculture. Article 20 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture recognizes that the long-term goal of a significant gradual reduction in support and protection in agriculture is an ongoing process. It stipulates that agricultural negotiations should resume in 2000. At the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in 2015, WTO members adopted a landmark decision to abolish agricultural export subsidies and introduce disciplinary measures with equivalent effect. Under this decision, export subsidies will be immediately eliminated by industrialized countries, with the exception of a handful of agricultural products, while developing countries will have longer deadlines to do so. In November 2001, the agriculture negotiations became part of the “only undertaking” of the Doha Round of trade negotiations. These agreements provide for flexibility in their implementation by developing countries, WTO Members (special and differential treatment), least developed countries (LDCs) and net food-importing developing countries (special provisions). In 2004, WTO members, meeting as a General Council, agreed on a series of decisions sometimes referred to as the July 2004 package. The main part on agriculture contains a framework that describes what a final agreement could be.

Members were able to narrow their gap at the Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong in December 2005. In the 1980s, government payments to agricultural producers in developed countries had resulted in large crop surpluses, which were dumped on the world market through export subsidies and lowered food prices. The fiscal burden of protective measures has increased, both as a result of lower revenues from import duties and increased domestic spending. Meanwhile, the global economy has entered a cycle of recession and the perception that open markets could improve economic conditions has led to calls for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations. [2] The round would open up markets for high-tech services and goods and, ultimately, lead to much-needed efficiency gains. To include developing countries, many of which were “applicants” for new international disciplines, agriculture, textiles and clothing were added to the big deal. [1] With regard to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) signed in Geneva in 1947 and the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed in Marrakesh in 1994. OJ L 336, 23.12.1994), the European Union and its Member States shall act in accordance with Article 207 (common commercial policy) and Articles 217 and 218 (international agreements) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (5.2.2). In the run-up to the 1986 GATT Ministerial Conference in Punta del Este, Uruguay, the agricultural lobbies of the industrialized countries opposed agriculture without compromise.

In this context, the idea of exempting “trade-neutral” production and subsidies from WTO obligations was first proposed by the US in 1987 and quickly repeated by the EU. [2] By guaranteeing continued support to farmers, it has also neutralised the opposition. In exchange for including agriculture in WTO disciplines and committing to reduce trade-distorting subsidies in the future, developed countries are likely to maintain subsidies that cause “only minimal trade distortions” in order to achieve various policy objectives. [1] The CAP is also affected by agricultural concessions granted to a large number of countries under several multilateral and bilateral agreements and by unilateral derogations under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). These preferential agreements explain the high level of EU agricultural imports from developing countries (3.2.10, Table VI). A draft agricultural text was circulated in 2006. These and subsequent revisions include proposed formulas to reduce tariffs and subsidies, as well as various new provisions that would be included in the future agricultural agreement. The Bali Ministerial Conference in 2013 and the Nairobi Ministerial Conference in 2015 produced significant results in the field of agriculture. Export subsidies are the third pillar. The 1995 Agreement on Agriculture required industrialized countries to reduce export subsidies by at least 36% (by value) or 21% (by volume) within six years.

For developing countries, the agreement provided for reductions of 24 per cent (in value) and 14 per cent (in volume) over a ten-year period. The 2003 CAP reform, which decoupled most of the existing direct aid, and the subsequent sectoral reforms resulted in the transfer of most of the aid from the Yellow and Blue Categories to the Green Box (EUR 61.6 billion in 2016/2017, see table below). Amber Box (AMS) aid fell sharply from €81 billion at the beginning of the agreement period to €6.9 billion in 2016-2017, despite successive waves of enlargement. This means that the European Union is largely respecting the commitments made in Marrakesh (€72.38 billion per year) for the AMS. In addition, the “blue box” reached €4.6 billion during the same reference period. Groups in Agricultural Negotiations In Brief: How to Track Current Issues in Agriculture Summary and Links to Follow the Latest Developments The Agreement on Agriculture consists of three pillars: domestic support, market access and export subsidies. In Nairobi, ministers said that “all members remain firmly committed to advancing negotiations on the remaining Doha issues. This includes promoting work in the three pillars of agriculture, namely domestic support, market access and export competition.

Ministers also agreed to continue negotiations on a special safeguard mechanism that would allow developing countries to temporarily increase tariffs on agricultural products in the event of an increase in imports or a fall in prices. At the 2013 Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, ministers agreed on a range of issues, including four decisions on agriculture: GATT 1947 originally applied to agriculture but was incomplete, and signatory states (or “contracting parties”) excluded this sector from the scope of the principles set out in the General Agreement. During the period 1947-1994, Members were allowed to benefit from export subsidies on primary agricultural products and to impose import restrictions under certain conditions, so that major agricultural raw materials faced trade barriers to an unusual extent in other product sectors. The road to a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system has therefore been long and difficult; And the negotiations were finally concluded in the Uruguay Round. Agriculture enjoys a special status in wto trade agreements and arrangements (signed in 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1995), as the sector has a specific agreement, the Agreement on Agriculture, whose provisions prevail. In addition, certain provisions of the Agreement on the Application of Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) also concern agricultural production and trade. The same applies to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) with regard to the protection of geographical indications. In addition, the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture are complemented by the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and technical assistance mechanisms. National agricultural support systems are governed by the Agreement on Agriculture, which entered into force in 1995 and was negotiated in the Uruguay Round (1986-1994). The long-term objective of the AoA is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system and to initiate a reform process by negotiating support and protection commitments, as well as establishing stronger and more operationally effective rules and discipline. .