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No. 10. Special and differential treatment in agriculture

FAO Trade Policy Technical Notes on issues related to the WTO negotiations on agriculture












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    Document
    FAO Fact Sheets: Input for the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancún 2003
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    For the WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancún, Mexico, FAO has produced fifteen briefings on trade issues critical to developing countries in the current negotiations. Their purpose is to provide basic facts and issues relating to agriculture, fisheries and forestry. They cover facts and issues especially important for Least Developing Countries (LDC) and Net Food Importing Developing Countries (NFIDC), but also for other Developing Countries for which exports in these sectors are critical to their economies. Issues covered include the increasing food-import reliance of many developing countries, the growth of food imports and food import bills, special safeguard provisions and import surges and identifying special products for differential treatment in the trade agreement. The issues include those which concern exports, such as tariff escalation and tariff preferences, non-tariff trade barriers, as well as the importance of certain export products such as fruits and vegetables, cotton, a nd sugar. The fact sheets also outline special agricultural concerns in respect of trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS). Key words: tariff, tariff preferences, tariff escalation, import bills, non-tariff barriers, TRIPS, special safeguards, developing countries, Least Developed Countries, Net Food Importing Developing Countries, WTO, Doha Development Round, Cancun Ministerial, Sugar, Cotton, Fruits and Vegetables, agricultural trade.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    TRADE REFORMS AND FOOD SECURITY
    CONCEPTUALIZING THE LINKAGES
    2003
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    Although given prominence in the context of the current World Trade Organization (WTO) trade negotiations, trade reforms are generally a component of a wider set of economic and institutional reforms. The complexity of reform packages, the wide variation in policy sets, the context within which they are used, and the thoroughness with which they are followed through, makes it extremely difficult to isolate the impact of specific trade reforms on the food security status of developing countries. As yet, there is no clear consensus on answers to general questions, such as “will developing countries benefit from reduced agricultural protection in economies of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)?”, let alone more specific questions which might include “how can developing country governments best promote smallholder agriculture in the new global environment, and what form of special and differential treatment might be required to allow them to do so?” In many c ases, “successful” reforms have been achieved not in isolation, but as a consequence of associated policy implementation. In drawing lessons from reforms that are perceived to have benefited food insecure groups, or at the very least, not to have disadvantaged them, it is therefore important to identify the complementary policies that facilitated the process of adjustment to more productive activities, and any compensatory policies that acted to alleviate the transitional losses that insecure gr oups may otherwise have faced. A clearer understanding of the often-obscured effects of trade reform on food security is therefore vital if the drivers of further reform are to result in changes to the benefit of insecure and vulnerable groups in poor countries.
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    Book (series)
    No. 8. Food aid in the context of international and domestic markets and the Doha Round
    FAO trade policy technical notes on issues related to the WTO negotiations on agriculture
    2005
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    This technical note reviews major developments in the international food aid system and different positions on the effectiveness and impact of food aid. It also attempts to clarify the terminology, definitions and concepts used in discussions on food aid, with a view to improving the process of analysis and to help focus the debate under the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Framework Agreement on Agriculture adopted on 1 August 2004, which has called for negotiations on food aid disciplines.

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