Concessions and Exemptions for Developing Countries in the Agricultural Negotiations: The Role of the Special and Differential Treatment
The main provisions of the special and differential treatment (SDT) granted to developing countries in the agriculture and food sector under the present World Trade Organization agreements are presented. The different provisions seem to have had a limited impact on developing countries, and revision is needed. The positions of the various developing countries regarding the SDT in the negotiations are summarized. Recent simulations of the consequences of a plausible agreement under the Doha negotiations suggest that there is a case for a special treatment for poorest countries, but also for a subset of countries that are likely to lose at multilateral liberalization, because of the erosion of existing preferences. Suggestions are made in order to make special and differential treatment provisions more effective. While direct assistance could play a role, a revised system of preferences could deserves some attention.
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