Agriculture in the WTO
The Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations made a decisive move towards increased market orientation in global agricultural trade. The WTO Agreement on Agriculture sets out specific commitments undertaken by WTO members to improve market access and reduce trade distorting subsidies in trade in agricultural products. These specific commitments are listed under 'schedules of concessions'. For agricultural products, these concessions and commitments include tariff and quota bindings, and limits on export subsidies and on domestic support. The implementation of commitments stemming from the Agreement on Agriculture is overseen by the Regular Committee on Agriculture. Within this committee, WTO members have the opportunity to consult on issues related to the implementation of their commitments.
As far as agriculture is concerned, the EU is committed to a balanced agreement aiming at a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system in line with the EU's reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy. In the negotiations the EU has been able to offer to cut its trade distorting farm support by 80%, to substantially reduce its farm tariffs, and to eliminate farm export subsidies altogether within the context of a comprehensive DDA result. A Doha agreement would also see new market access opportunities, in particular for the EU's processed agricultural exports (see state of play of the DDA agricultural negotiations)
WTO Ministerial Conferences
The 9th WTO Ministerial Conference took place in Bali in December 2013.
On agriculture, the results cover three main issues:
- Public stockholding for food security purposes (+ General Services)
- Tariff Rate Quota Administration
- Export competition