Research Handbook on the WTO Agriculture Agreement

Research Handbook on the WTO Agriculture Agreement

New and Emerging Issues in International Agricultural Trade Law

Research Handbooks on the WTO series

Edited by Joseph A. McMahon and Melaku Geboye Desta

Agriculture has been the unruly horse of the GATT/WTO system for a long time and efforts to halter it are still ongoing. This Research Handbook focuses on aspects of agricultural production and trade policy that are recognized for their importance but are often kept out of the limelight, such as the implication of national and international agricultural production and trade policies on national food security, global climate change, and biotechnology. It provides a summary of the state of the WTO agriculture negotiations as well as the relevant jurisprudence, but also, and uniquely, it focuses on the new and emerging issues of agricultural trade law and policy that are rarely addressed in the existing literature.

Chapter 9: Climate Change Policies for Agriculture and WTO Agreements

David Blandford

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, international economics, environment, environmental economics

Extract

David Blandford I. INTRODUCTION Since the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was drafted in 1947 the policy agenda for international trade has expanded enormously. The primary concern in the immediate post-war period was to impose greater discipline on trade policies by promoting transparency and non-discrimination through the application of tariffs on the most-favoured-nation (MFN) principle, and to provide a framework for negotiated reductions in those tariffs. The trade agenda expanded during the 1960s when the interests of developing countries came to greater prominence, culminating in waivers to allow rich countries to offer tariff preferences to poorer countries. Exceptions were also made for the reduction in tariffs among members of trading blocs, such as the European Union (EU), providing that there was nondiscrimination among WTO members outside the bloc (through a common tariff applied by each country or a common external tariff applied by all countries). The Uruguay Round agreement of 1994, establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), reflected a further major expansion in the trade agenda by effectively including agriculture under GATT disciplines for the first time through a specific Agreement on Agriculture (the AoA). The provisions of a number of other Uruguay Round agreements are also of significance for the sector. These include those on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT), and a strengthened approach to subsidies through the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). A much improved dispute settlement procedure was...

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