50 Years of Conflict and Convergence
Chapter 3: The adoption of disciplines and the domestic reforms (1986 to 2001)
The twists and turns of the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations were nothing if not dramatic. No author could have drafted a more convoluted script for a performance that was to involve thousands of politicians and officials over a period of seven years. The US and EU negotiators were assigned star roles, not by chance but as a result of the issues over which they had to fight. And, for large parts of the drama, agriculture took center stage. This chapter examines the major ups and downs in the agricultural negotiations of the Uruguay Round and discusses the establishment of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). The impact of the AoA on domestic farm policies in the EU and the US was of great significance, though the policies themselves were evolving in a similar direction. The 1990s saw the most important changes in these policies in the post-war period. Agricultural policies in the US and the EU have responded to all manner of domestic and international forces and pressures, as discussed in the previous two chapters. What was largely absent from the scene before the Uruguay Round was the discipline of the international trading regime as embodied in the GATT.
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