Agreement On Agriculture Summary

Developing countries` proposals for export subsidies range from proper regulation to abolition. Developing countries are calling for the implementation of the ministerial decision on NCCs, which provides for the creation of a renewable inter-institutional fund to assist LDCs and NPDs with import invoices. In addition, food aid should take the form of subsidies. Kenya has also requested technical and financial assistance to developing countries to comply with spS rules, as well as an end to the dumping of food exports that do not comply with SPS agreements. The EU has called for negotiations on export credits, food aid and state-owned commercial enterprises, as well as on export subsidies. Ukraine`s Agricultural and Industrial Complex (AIC) accounted for 30% of GDP in 1998. Agricultural production is gradually being transferred from the state to private hands. Deris` uncertainties about property rights remain an obstacle to investment in production capacity. In addition, between 1992 and 2001, the expansion of credit to farms increased twenty-fold. Public funding for agriculture has also declined significantly. Private farms now account for the bulk of agricultural production, but production capacity remains low, particularly in the public sector. Grain acreage decreased by almost a quarter between 1985 and 1998, while yields decreased by almost half. 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.

During the period 1947-1994, members were allowed to use export subsidies for primary agricultural products and to impose import restrictions under certain conditions, so that major agricultural raw materials faced trade barriers in unusual proportions in other sectors. The road to a fair, market-oriented agricultural trade system has therefore been difficult and time-consuming; and the negotiations were finally concluded during the Uruguay Round. Agriculture has a special status in WTO agreements and trade agreements (signed in 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1995), with the sector having a specific agreement, the agriculture agreement, whose provisions prevail. In addition, some provisions of the agreement on the application of plant protection measures (SPS) also concern agricultural production and trade. The same applies to the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) with respect to the protection of geographical denominations.

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