India and Wto Agreement on Agriculture

The most radical proposal is for the WTO to relax the rules on domestic support. Since there are several ways to skin the cat, one method would be to provide an exception to WTO disciplines in certain cases, for example. B when the feed is purchased from low-income or resource-poor producers. It was a proposal from the G33 countries in 2012, but it has not been successful. The G33 is a coalition of developing countries particularly concerned about agriculture. Despite its name, the group currently has 47 members. The Agreement on Agriculture prohibits agricultural export subsidies unless such subsidies are included in a Schedule of Commitments by Members. If listed, the agreement requires WTO members to reduce both the amount of money they spend on export subsidies and the amounts of exports that receive subsidies. On the basis of the 1986-90 averages, industrialized countries agreed to reduce the value of export subsidies by 36% over the six years from 1995 onwards (24% over 10 years for developing countries). Developed countries have also agreed to reduce the volume of subsidized exports by 21 per cent over the six years (14 per cent over 10 years for developing countries).

The least developed countries do not need to make cuts. WTO members have taken steps to reform the agricultural sector and address significant subsidies and trade barriers that distort trade in agricultural products. The overall goal is to create a more equitable trading system that improves market access and improves the livelihoods of farmers around the world. The WTO Agreement on Agriculture, which entered into force in 1995, represents an important step towards reforming agricultural trade and making it fairer and more competitive. The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development monitors the implementation of the agreement. Agriculture is the oldest culture in all of human civilization. The history of agriculture in India goes back ten thousand years. The WTO succeeds the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), created in 1947. Gatt held a total of eight rounds. The WTO Agreement on Agriculture, known as the „International Treaty”, was one of the most important agreements negotiated during the Uruguay Round, with the participation of a total of 123 countries. The objectives of WTO laws are to promote free and liberal trade. But there has been widespread abuse of this concept.

Exporting countries have begun to dump their products into importing countries, which has posed a serious threat to the economies of developing countries, especially to India`s agriculture. The tariff package contained more. It ensured that quantities imported before the entry into force of the Agreement could continue to be imported and ensured that certain new quantities would be subject to customs duties which were not prohibitively expensive. This has been achieved through a system of tariff quotas, lower tariff rates for certain quantities, higher (sometimes much higher) rates for quantities exceeding the quota. WTO information on agriculture, including notifications from WTO members Video: Use of AGIMS While the original GATT applied to trade in agricultural products, it had shortcomings. For example, it has allowed countries to apply and subsidize certain non-tariff measures, such as import quotas. Agricultural trade has been severely distorted, in particular by the use of export subsidies that would not normally have been allowed for manufactured goods. The Uruguay Round produced the first multilateral agreement in this sector. This was an important first step towards order, fair competition and a less distorted sector. It was implemented over a six-year period (and is still implemented by developing countries during their 10-year period), which began in 1995. The Uruguay Round agreement included a commitment to pursue reforms through further negotiations.

These were launched in 2000, as required by the Convention on Agriculture. Products falling within the scope of this Agreement shall normally be considered as part of agriculture, with the exception of fishery and forestry products, as well as rubber, jute, sisal, abaca and coconut. The exact coverage of the product can be found in the legal text of the agreement on the www.wto.org website. These include fares, tariff reductions and access options. Tariff classification means that all non-tariff barriers to trade such as quotas, variable levies, minimum import prices, discretionary licensing, state trade measures, voluntary restraint agreements, etc. must be abolished and converted into an equivalent tariff. Ordinary tariffs, including those resulting from their classification, should be reduced by an average of 36 %, with the minimum reduction rate for each tariff item being at least 15 % over a period of 6 years. Developing countries have had to reduce their tariffs by 24 per cent in 10 years. Developing countries that maintained quantitative restrictions due to balance of payments problems were allowed to offer maximum liabilities instead of tariffs.

For domestic support policy, subject to reduction commitments, total support granted in 1986-88, as measured by the total level of support (Total AmS), should be reduced by 20% in industrialized countries (13.3% in developing countries). Reduction commitments refer to the total amount of aid and not to individual raw materials. Policies equivalent to domestic support under product-specific and non-product-specific categories, i.e. less than 5 per cent of the value of production for industrialized countries and less than 10 per cent for developing countries, are also excluded from any reduction commitment. Policies that have little or no trade-distorting effect on production are excluded from any reduction commitment („Green Box” – Annex 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture www.wto.org. The list of excluded Green Box policies includes policies that provide services or benefits to agriculture or the rural community, public stocks for food security purposes, national food aid and certain decoupled payments to producers, including direct payments to programmes limiting production, provided certain conditions are met. In the run-up to the 1986 GATT Ministerial Conference in Punta del Este, Uruguay, the agricultural lobbies of the industrialized countries opposed agriculture without compromise. In this context, the idea of exempting „trade-neutral” production and subsidies from WTO obligations was first proposed by the US in 1987 and quickly repeated by the EU.

[2] By guaranteeing continued support to farmers, it has also neutralised the opposition. In exchange for including agriculture in WTO disciplines and committing to reduce trade-distorting subsidies in the future, developed countries are likely to maintain subsidies that cause „only minimal trade distortions” in order to achieve various policy objectives. [1] Export subsidies are the third pillar. The 1995 Agreement on Agriculture required industrialized countries to reduce export subsidies by at least 36% (by value) or 21% (by volume) within six years. For developing countries, the agreement provided for reductions of 24 per cent (in value) and 14 per cent (in volume) over a ten-year period. The WTO Agreement on Agriculture contains provisions in 3 major areas of agricultural and trade policy: market access, domestic support and export subsidies The agreement has been criticised by civil society groups for reducing tariff protection for smallholder farmers, an important source of income in developing countries, while allowing rich countries to continue to subsidize national agriculture. The 1958 Haberler Report stressed the importance of minimising the impact of agricultural subsidies on competitiveness and recommended replacing price support with additional direct payments that are not linked to production, anticipating the discussion of Green Box subsidies. It is only more recently, however, that this change has become the heart of the reform of the global agricultural system. [1] Measures with minimal impact on trade can be used freely, they are located in a green box (green as in traffic lights). These include government services such as research, disease control, infrastructure and food security. This includes direct payments to farmers who do not stimulate production, such as certain forms of direct income support, aid to help farmers restructure agriculture and direct payments under environmental and regional aid programmes. At the 2013 WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, ministers also agreed on a range of agriculture-related issues.

For all the above reasons, and also because it would not be possible for developing countries to provide alternative sources of employment to the rural poor, it is essential that agriculture remain a viable livelihood for the large percentage of the population that depends on it. The agreement allows governments to support their rural economies, but preferably through measures that cause less trade distortion. It also allows for flexibility in how commitments are implemented. Developing countries do not have to reduce their subsidies or tariffs as much as developed countries, and they have more time to meet their commitments. The least developed countries do not have to do that at all. Special provisions respond to the interests of countries that depend on imports for their food supply and to the concerns of the least developed economies. See news on agricultural negotiations News on cotton Imports under the tariff quota (up to 1,000 tonnes) are generally charged at 10%. Imports imported outside the tariff quota shall be collected at 80 %.

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