Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements
AGRICULTURE NEGOTIATIONS: BACKGROUNDER

Phase 1:

The peace clause

Article 13 (“due restraint”) of the Agriculture Agreement protects countries using subsidies which comply with the agreement from being challenged under other WTO agreements. Without this “peace clause”, countries would have greater freedom to take action against each others’ subsidies, under the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement and related provisions. The peace clause is due to expire at the end of 2003.

Some countries want it extended so that they can enjoy some degree of “legal security”, ensuring that they will not be challenged so long as they comply with their commitments on export subsidies and domestic support under the Agriculture Agreement.

Some others want it to lapse as part of their overall objective to see agriculture brought under general WTO disciplines that deal with governments’ ability to take action against subsidies.

Some countries have proposed variants. Canada would like to see “green box” domestic supports freed from the possibility of countervailing action under the Subsidies Agreement. India proposes something like the peace clause should be retained but only for developing countries, so that some subsidies are free from the possibility of countervailing duty.

 

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Proposals referring to the peace clause submitted in Phase 1  

  • EU: comprehensive negotiating proposal G/AG/NG/W/90
  • Canada: domestic support G/AG/NG/W/92
  • Mauritius: proposal G/AG/NG/W96
  • India: proposal G/AG/NG/W/102
  • Turkey: proposal G/AG/NG/W/106
  • Nigeria: proposal G/AG/NG/W/130
  • Kenya: proposal G/AG/NG/W/136
  • Mexico: proposal G/AG/NG/W/138
  • African Group: joint proposal G/AG/NG/W/142
  • Namibia: proposal G/AG/NG/W/143

 

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