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WTO rules on Agreement on Agriculture : legal assessment on the agreement regarding agricultural export subsidies


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Purananda, Surapan 2000 , 'WTO rules on Agreement on Agriculture : legal assessment on the agreement regarding agricultural export subsidies', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis examines and assesses the World Trade Organization rules on the Agreement on Agriculture, which came into effect in 1995. This thesis focuses, in particular, on the part of the Agreement dealing with agricultural export subsidies. The aim of this thesis is to assess whether the rules concerning export subsidies on agricultural products will operate successfully. Under the Agreement, the use of export subsidies on agricultural products can be continued but participating countries are required to commit themselves to reduce both the value of export subsidies and the volume of subsidized exports. The participating countries have also agreed not to apply export subsidies to agricultural products not subsidized in the "base period" (1986-1990). However, the Agreement allows some flexibility to participating countries to subsidize their agricultural products or export their subsidized products during "the implementation period" (1995-2000).
This thesis begins in part A with the general considerations of export subsidies and their relation with international agricultural trade. It is then followed by the history of agricultural export subsidies under the old GATT regime in part B. Part B discusses the regulations used to control agricultural export subsidies - "equitable share" standard, and the problem and the failure of the terms which led to the new criteria in the new WTO rules - An Agreement on Agriculture. In part C the thesis discusses the new WTO regime. In particular, the history of negotiation leading to the Agreement, legal aspects of the Agreement, and the policies of the US and the EU on agricultural export subsidies will be discussed. In the final part, an assessment and comparison between the old GATT rules and the new WTO rules will be made, with a view to assessing the future operation of the new WTO rules.
This thesis argues that the US and the EU, which are the two major parties to the success or the failure of the attempt to discipline agricultural export subsidies, still retain export subsidies programs as their major tools to achieve export goals. In fact the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations was concluded as a result of the compromise between the US and the EU, to some extent under pressure from other interested groups.
In addition this thesis identifies a number of loopholes in the agreement on agricultural export subsidies. These loopholes could potentially be interpreted to allow participating countries to circumvent their commitments under the Agreement so giving a subsidizing country an advantage over its agricultural trade competitors. Finally, this thesis argues that the new WTO criteria to control agricultural export subsidies are more practical than the old GATT standard, but certain provisions of the Agreement on agricultural export subsidies need to be modified.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Purananda, Surapan
Keywords: World Trade Organization, Agreement on Agriculture (1994), Agricultural subsidies, Foreign trade regulation
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2000 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Thesis (LL.M)--University of Tasmania, 2000. Includes bibliographical references

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