Features Of Ur Agreement
Posted on April 9, 2021
The agreements for the two main WTO areas, goods and services, have a three-part framework: the 1947 GATT initially applied to agriculture but 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 use export subsidies for primary agricultural products and to impose import restrictions under certain conditions, so that major agricultural raw materials faced trade barriers in unusual proportions in other sectors. The road to a fair, market-oriented agricultural trade system has therefore been difficult and time-consuming; and the negotiations were finally concluded during the Uruguay Round. Agriculture has a special status in WTO agreements and trade agreements (signed in 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1995), with the sector having a specific agreement, the agriculture agreement, whose provisions prevail. In addition, some provisions of the agreement on the application of plant protection measures (SPS) also concern agricultural production and trade. The same applies to the agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) with respect to the protection of geographical denominations. In addition, the provisions of the agreement on agriculture are complemented by the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (OTC) and by technical assistance mechanisms. The 20 agreements were signed in Marrakech in April 1994, the Marrakech agreement. The Trade-Related Investment Measures Agreement (TRIMs) calls for the introduction of international treatment of foreign investment and the removal of quantitative restrictions. It refers to five investment measures that are incompatible with the GATT provisions on national treatment and the general elimination of qualitative restrictions. These agreements provide some flexibility in implementation by developing countries as well as for WTO members (special and differentiated treatment) and least developed countries (LDCs) and net food-importing developing countries (special provisions).
Domestic support regimes for agriculture are governed by the agriculture agreement, which came into force in 1995 and was negotiated during the Uruguay Round (1986-1994). The long-term goal of the AoA is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system and to initiate a reform process through negotiations on promised commitments and safeguards and by defining more effective and operationally effective rules and disciplines.