Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

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.

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.


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Proposals on transition economies submitted in Phase 1

  • 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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