The position of the developing countries in the WTO negotiations on agricultural trade liberalisation
This paper reviews the demands of developing countries in the new round of WTO agricultural negotiations which began in Geneva in March 2000 based on the submissions to the Special Session up to November 2000. Two issues of principle are identified. The first is the developing country demand for equality of outcomes in the negotiations, and not just equality of commitments. Because developed countries made the most use of agricultural support and protection in the past, developing countries argue that equal reduction commitments would still leave a very lop-sided playing-field in which the great bulk of support and protection would continue to be provided by the developed countries. The second issue concerns the role and content of special and differential treatment (SDT) in the current round. The paper notes the need for specific proposals under this heading, but warns that too much flexibility could encourage developing countries down a road which Europe has found leads to costly and poorly-targeted systems of support.
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