Agricultural trade reforms in the Doha Round: a developing country perspective Athukorala, Prema-chandra

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Athukorala, Prema-chandra
Agriculture - Developing countries.; trade policy reforms; World Trade Organisation
This paper examines the reform outcome of the Uruguay Round relating to trade in agriculture, the nature of the unfinished reform agenda and policy choices for the Doha Round, with special emphasis on the position of developing in trade negotiations. A key policy inference is that, to be effective, agricultural trade liberalisation should involve simultaneous reforms of the trade regime and domestic production support mechanisms. Concerted international initiatives to provide financial and institutional support for economic adjustment and social safety programs can play an important role in making such comprehensive reforms politically palatable and feasible. While overloading the WTO with matters that fall beyond its purview may be counterproductive, there is certainly a case for a coordinated effort involving the WTO and international development finance institutions. Developing countries should eschew excessive reliance on ‘special and differential treatments’ and instead strive to make use of multilateral liberalisation commitments to lock in much-needed structural reforms in domestic agriculture.
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