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WTO Gets Evaluated in its Agricultural Support

July 5, 2011

WTO Disciplines on Agricultural Support: Seeking a Fair Basis for Trade edited by David Orden, David Blandford, and Tim Josling (Cambridge University Press, 2011) attempts to answer the question of where to go on food policy in regards to the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement and how to promote agricultural production and trade.  Through a look at the global farm policies adopted in the developed countries US, EU, Japan, Norway and developing countries Brazil, India, China and the Philippines, from 1995-2008, the book identifies what pieces were missing to create successful programs.

The ideal of the WTO, when it was created in 1995, intended to allow increased market access and export competition for agriculture. The Agreement on Agriculture, negotiated from 1986–94, was created in order to eliminate world agricultural market and trade distortions.  The book and video (see above) give insights as to the extent to which the WTO agreement has been effective and the ways in which policy reform has functioned.  The book also makes suggestions as to what needs to happen beyond Doha to evaluate and impose effective rules and constraints in order to protect agriculture and trade.

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