Introduction to Trade in Agricultural Products in the WTO Links to the Agricultural Part of the WTO Guide “Understanding the WTO” 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). 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. During the period 1947-1994, Members were allowed to apply for export subsidies for primary agricultural products and to impose import restrictions under certain conditions, so that major agricultural raw materials face trade barriers of an unusual magnitude in other product sectors. The road to a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system has therefore been long and difficult; and the negotiations were finally concluded during the Uruguay Round. Agriculture has a special status in WTO agreements and trade agreements (which were signed in 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1995), as the sector has a specific agreement, the Agreement on Agriculture, whose provisions prevail. In addition, certain provisions of the Agreement on the Application of Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) also concern agricultural production and trade. The same applies to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) with regard to the protection of geographical indications. In addition, the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture are complemented by the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and technical assistance mechanisms.
See Agricultural Negotiation News News on Cotton The Member Transparency Toolkit provides information on reporting formats and a manual on reporting obligations, as well as links to member engagement lists and other resources to support member transparency in agriculture. While the volume of global agricultural exports has increased significantly in recent decades, its growth rate has lagged behind that of industry, resulting in a steady decline in agriculture`s share of world trade in goods. In 1998, agricultural trade, including trade in services, accounted for 10.5% of total trade in goods, and agriculture`s share of world exports fell to 8.5%. In global trade, however, agriculture is still ahead of sectors such as mining products, automotive products, chemicals, textiles and clothing, or iron and steel. Among internationally traded agricultural products, food accounts for nearly 80 percent of the total. .