Agricultural Trade Reform Under the Doha Agenda: Ready for Takeoff?
A successful agreement on agriculture is critical for an overall agreement under the Doha negotiations. But before the final agreement is known, some critical decisions must be made about issues such as resumption of the negotiations, and the key tradeoffs to be made following resumption. We consider four of the most controversial areas of the agricultural negotiations: the relative importance of domestic support, market access and export subsidies; the sensitive-product exceptions sought for all countries; the additional special product exceptions sought for developing countries; and the proposed special safeguard mechanism. We show that the decisions made on reform in these areas will have a critical influence on whether the negotiations achieve their objectives of promoting trade reform and reducing poverty. In the end, we are cautiously optimistic about the potential for the negotiations to deliver a substantial outcome.
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