Key issues and challenges for the 1999 World Trade Organization agriculture round

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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International trade negotiations continue to be a topic of great importance. In December 1993 negotiations for the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) came to a close after more than seven years. The next round of agricultural negotiations is scheduled to begin in late 1999. According to U.S. Trade Representative Barshefsky, agriculture is a field where the next World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations offer immense potential for direct, concrete benefits via further reduction of tariffs, export subsidies, and domestic supports linked to production (Barshefsky 1998). In addition, this round may be called the Green Round given the potential emphasis on global resource use and environmental issues. The nexus of international trade, resource use, and the environment holds implications for agricultural economists, where agricultural economists can use their analytical skills to enter this global policy debate. Developing countries will play an increasingly important role in the trade and environment debate. As developing countries seek to attain economic convergence with developed countries through economic growth, concerns arise as to whether this growth is achieved at the expense of the environment. This article examines key issues relevant to the 1999 WTO Agriculture Round, including the impact of regional trade agreements on the WTO, state trading, agricultural biotechnology, and the environment. Additionally, country and regional perspectives for the upcoming WTO negotiations are discussed, focusing on the United States, the European Union (EU), the Cairns Group, China, and developing countries.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

American Journal of Agricultural Economics

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