Agreement on Agriculture Gatt

The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) is one of the most significant agreements under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). It was established in 1995 as part of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations and aimed to liberalize trade in agricultural products between countries. The AoA is a binding agreement that regulates the trade and domestic policies of member countries relating to agriculture.

The primary objective of the AoA is to ensure fair trade in agricultural products between developed and developing countries. Under the agreement, member countries agreed to reduce their trade barriers and tariff rates on agricultural products. This was done to increase market access for agricultural exports from developing countries and to promote competition and efficiency in agricultural markets.

The AoA also covers three other areas: domestic support, export subsidies, and food safety and animal and plant health. The domestic support aspect of the agreement aims to reduce trade-distorting subsidies that governments provide to their domestic agricultural producers. The export subsidies provision regulates the use of subsidies for the export of agricultural products, to avoid distortions in international trade. Lastly, the food safety and animal and plant health aspect covers measures taken to protect human, animal, or plant life or health in certain circumstances where trade may be affected.

Since the AoA came into effect, it has had a significant impact on agricultural trade across the world. Countries have increased their agricultural exports, and trade in agricultural products has grown significantly. However, some developing countries have argued that the AoA has not gone far enough in addressing their concerns and that they still face significant barriers to accessing developed country markets. Additionally, critics have noted that some developed countries have found ways to circumvent the AoA’s provisions, such as through the use of indirect subsidies.

In conclusion, the Agreement on Agriculture is a critical part of the GATT framework, aimed at liberalizing trade in agricultural products. While it has had some successes, it remains a contested issue, with some countries arguing that the agreement has not gone far enough to address their concerns. As with all agreements, the AoA is subject to ongoing evaluation and review, and its impact will continue to be evaluated over time.

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