At the 2005 WTO meeting in Hong Kong, countries agreed to eliminate export subsidies and equivalent payments by 2013. However, Oxfam claimed that EU export subsidies accounted for only 3.5% of total agricultural support. The United States has eliminated cotton export subsidies, which cover only 10% of total expenditure. In the run-up to the GATT Ministerial Conference in Punta del Este (Uruguay) in 1986, the agricultural lobbies of the industrialized countries vehemently opposed compromises in the field of agriculture. In this context, the idea of exempting “trade-neutral” production and subsidies from WTO obligations was first proposed by the US in 1987 and quickly taken up by the EU.  By ensuring continued support for farmers, it has also neutralised resistance. In exchange for integrating agriculture into WTO disciplines and a commitment to reduce trade-distorting subsidies in the future, developed countries would be allowed to maintain subsidies that result in “minimal trade distortions” to achieve various policy objectives.  A book published in 2009 by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) showed how Green Box subsidies distort trade, affect farmers in developing countries and harm the environment. While some Green Box payments have had little impact on production and trade, others have a significant impact.  According to countries` latest official reports to the WTO, the United States allocated $76 billion (more than 90% of total spending) to Green Box payments in 2007, while the European Union provided €48 billion (€91 billion) in 2005.
USD), which is about half of all support. The EU`s high and growing spending under the Green Box has been decoupled from income support, which could have a significant impact on production and trade.  The agreement has been criticized by civil society groups for reducing tariff protection for smallholder farmers, an important source of income in developing countries, while allowing rich countries to further subsidize agriculture in their countries. In the 1980s, government payments to agricultural producers in industrialized countries had caused large crop surpluses, which were dumped on the world market by export subsidies and lowered food prices. The tax burden of safeguard measures has increased, due to both lower revenues from import duties and higher domestic expenditures. 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 deliver much-needed efficiencies. To include developing countries, many of which were “demands” for new international disciplines, agriculture, textiles and clothing were added to the major arrangements.  The Member Transparency Toolkit includes information on notification formats and a manual on reporting obligations, as well as links to member engagement lists and other resources to support member transparency in agriculture.
The European Parliament has always followed very closely the development of multilateral negotiations in general and agricultural negotiations in particular. A number of resolutions illustrate this interest (e.g. the resolution of 18 December 1999 on the Third Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Seattle; of 13 December 2001 on the WTO meeting in Doha; of 12 February 2003 on the WTO negotiations on trade in agricultural products; of 25 September 2003 on the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization in Cancún; of 1 December 2005 on preparations for the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong; of 4 April 2006, 9 October 2008, 16 December 2009, p. 14. September 2011, 21 November 2013 and 26 November 2015 on the evaluation of the Doha Round; and of 15 November 2017 on multilateral negotiations for the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires). The European Parliament has always called on the European Commission to safeguard the interests of European producers and consumers and the interests of farmers in countries with which the European Union has had particularly close relations in the past (the ACP countries). In 1999, at the beginning of the Millennium Round, it expressed its support for the approach of the European Union negotiators to promote the European agricultural model based on the multifunctionality of the farm. It has reaffirmed this support in several resolutions, which have also stressed the importance of explicitly recognising “non-trade concerns” and taking into account public demands for food safety, environmental protection, food quality and animal welfare. The 2003 CAP reform, which decoupled most of the existing direct aid, and the subsequent sectoral reforms resulted in the transfer of most of the aid from the Yellow and Blue Categories to the Green Box (EUR 61.6 billion in 2016/2017, see table below).
Aid under the “yellow box” (AMS or aggregate measure of support) increased from EUR 81 billion at the beginning of the contractual period to EUR 6.9 billion in the period 2016-2017, even with successive waves of enlargement. The European Union is thus largely respecting the commitments made in Marrakesh (€72.38 billion per year) for the AMS. In addition, the “blue box” reached €4.6 billion during the same registration period. 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. OJ L 336, 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). WTO information on agriculture, including submissions from WTO Members Video: Application of AGIMS Domestic support systems for agriculture are governed by the Agreement on Agriculture, which entered into force in 1995 and was negotiated during the Uruguay Round (1986-1994). The long-term objective of the AoA is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system and to initiate a reform process by negotiating support and protection obligations and establishing stronger and more operationally effective rules and discipline. Agriculture is therefore special because the sector has its own agreement, the provisions of which prevail. Introduction to Agricultural Trade in the WTO Links to the Agriculture section of the WTO Guide “Understanding the WTO” The Agreement on Agriculture is based on three pillars: domestic support, market access and export subsidies. The agreement has been criticised by NGOs for classifying subsidies into trade-distorting domestic subsidies (the “orange box”) that need to be reduced and into non-trade-distorting subsidies (blue and green boxes) that are unregulated and can therefore be increased. While efficient agricultural exporters are urging WTO members to reduce their support for the trade-distorting “black box” and “blue box,” developed countries` spending on the Green Box has increased.
The GATT 1947 originally applied to agriculture, but it was incomplete, and the signatory States (or “Contracting Parties”) excluded this sector from the scope of the principles set out in the General Agreement. In 1947-1994, Members were allowed to use agricultural commodity export subsidies and impose import restrictions under certain conditions, leaving major agricultural raw materials exposed to unusual trade barriers in other commodity sectors. .