The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA) was a turning point in the reform of the agricultural trade system. It imposed disciplines on trade-distorting domestic policies and established new rules in the areas of market access and export competition. How effective have the three disciplines contained in the URAA been in bringing about a reduction in the level of production-related support and protection? Which elements of the disciplines have proved effective and which ineffective? What policy lessons can be drawn from the experience so far? What might be inferred about opportunities and challenges for further trade liberalisation? This report provides some answers to these questions for all OECD countries.
A key conclusion of the report is that the immediate quantitative effects of the URAA on trade and protection levels have been modest. The reasons for this include the weakness of many specific features of the URAA including implementation and methodological issues.
Countries have already embarked on a new round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture. The challenge facing policy makers is to build upon the foundation of the URAA to further reduce trade distortions. This requires strengthening the disciplines already established under the URAA and addressing those weaknesses of the current agreement which have been identified in this study.
This consultation was the sixth meeting of the JWP with representatives of civil society. The meeting was well attended, with around 30 members of national and international NGOs representing the environmental, business and labour communities.
This case study describes the activities and mechanisms, which are in place in Japan for ensuring transparency and engaging in consultation with civil society on trade and environment issues.
This day-long informal consultation on 20 October 1999 between the Trade Committee and representatives from a cross-section of business, labour, environmental, developmental and consumer groups was structured against a background that included objectives of a new round of liberalisation.
OECD Member countries were invited to co-operate with a second review of the Implementation of the OECD Procedural Guidelines on Trade and Environment, by responding to a questionnaire. This document contains a copy of the original questionnaire...
To investigate more thoroughly how transparency and consultation is translated into practice, the JWP decided to undertake a series of short case studies focussing on the first Procedural Guideline in OECD Member countries.