New and Emerging Issues in International Agricultural Trade Law
Research Handbooks on the WTO series
Edited by Joseph A. McMahon and Melaku Geboye Desta
Chapter 9: Climate Change Policies for Agriculture and WTO Agreements
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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