With regard to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) signed in Geneva in 1947 and the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) signed in Marrakesh in 1994. L 336 of 23.12.1994), the European Union and its Member States shall act in accordance with Article 207 (common commercial policy) and Articles 217 and 218 (international agreements) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (5.2.2). Until the 1980s, government payments to agricultural producers in developed countries had resulted in large crop surpluses, which were dumped on the world market by export subsidies and lowered food prices. The fiscal burden of safeguard measures has increased, both due to lower revenues from import duties and increased domestic spending. Meanwhile, the global economy has entered a cycle of recession and the perception that open markets could improve economic conditions has led to calls for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.  The round would open up markets for high-tech services and goods and, ultimately, lead to necessary efficiency gains. To engage developing countries, many of which were “applicants” for new international disciplines, agriculture, textiles and clothing were added to the big deal.  3. Supplies of the product in question which have been effected on the basis of a contract concluded before the imposition of the additional duty referred to in paragraph 1(a) and paragraph 4 shall be exempt from that additional duty, provided that they can be imposed on the quantity of imports of the product concerned during the following year in order to trigger the provisions of paragraph 1, point (a), during this year. WTO members took important decisions on agriculture at the 2015 WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. These include the obligation to eliminate agricultural export subsidies, as well as decisions on public storage for food security purposes, a special protection mechanism for developing countries and cotton trade rules.
Export subsidies are the third pillar. The 1995 agricultural agreement required industrialized countries to reduce export subsidies by at least 36% (in value) and 21% (volume) over a six-year value. For developing countries, the agreement required reductions of 24 per cent (in value) and 14 per cent (in volume) over ten years. The first pillar of the agricultural agreement is “domestic support”. The AoA divides domestic support into two categories: trade-distorting measures and measures that do not distort trade (or that distort trade the little). The WTO Agreement on Agriculture, negotiated in the Uruguay Round (1986-1994), includes the classification of subsidies according to “boxes” according to the consequences of production and trade: amber (most directly related to production levels), blue (production-limiting programmes that still distort trade) and green (minimal distortion).  While yellow box payments had to be reduced, green box payments were exempted from reduction obligations. Detailed rules for green box payments are set out in Appendix 2 to the AoA. .
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