Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

AGRICULTURE NEGOTIATIONS: BACKGROUNDER
Phase 1: Transition economies

So far, two proposals deal specifically with concerns of countries in transition from central planning to market economies. They deal with domestic support and market access. These countries say that shortage of capital, lack of a well-functioning credit system, government budget constraints and other problems they are experiencing in the transition mean that exposing agriculture to market forces would disrupt the sector.

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UPDATED 10 OCTOBER 2002

Contents
> In a nutshell
Proposals received in Phase 1
Proposals received in Phase 2
Alliances table
INTRODUCTION
Phase 1
Export subsidies, competition and restrictions
Market access
Domestic support: amber, blue and green boxes
Developing countries
> Transition economies
Non-trade concerns
Animal welfare and food quality
The peace clause
Phase 2
Tariffs and quotas
Domestic support: amber, blue and green boxes
Export subsidies and restrictions
State trading
Food security
Food safety
Rural development
Geographical indications
Safeguards
Environment
Trade preferences
Food aid
Consumer information and labelling
Sectoral initiatives
Development box, single commodity producers, small island developing states, special and differential treatment
Additional issues (food aid, the Green Box, tariff quota expansion)

Modalities 2002–2003
Exports
Market access
Domestic support


Data
Statistics


This briefing document explains current agricultural issues raised before and in the current negotiations. It has been prepared by the Information and Media Relations Division of the WTO Secretariat to help public understanding about the agriculture negotiations. It is not an official record of the negotiations.


For domestic support, these countries are calling for extra flexibility in providing certain subsidies (for example for debt and interest payments) and in general allow them higher ceilings on amounts of support that are considered small enough (“de minimis”) not to be counted in reduction commitments. Under market access they want to continue protecting some of their own products with existing tariff levels — without having to reduce them further — including those that already have low tariffs. They also want to negotiate the removal of non-tariff barriers in their export markets.

These countries stress that the flexibility would be temporary — so long as the problems of transition persist — and would not lead to additional distortions in agricultural trade.

 
 
Proposals on transition economies submitted in Phase 1  back to top

  • 12 transition economies: domestic support — additional flexibility for transition economies G/AG/NG/W/56
  • 11 transition economies: market access G/AG/NG/W/57

 
 
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