A new impetus has been given to faltering WTO trade discussions by the recent EU mandate supporting the liberalisation of agricultural trade policies and removal of export subsidies on agricultural products, within an environment in which all countries start reforming their trade policies. Until now, discussions have centred on agriculture in general, rather than at specific commodity level. This paper rises to the challenge laid down by the EU in identifying the specific commodities for which developing countries would gain benefit in any subsequent reforms. The paper outlines the nature of export subsidies. It discusses the effect of reform on developing countries, indicating the scale of any changes. The policy implications of removing agricultural support in the EU are given and the consequences for net food exporting and importing countries examined. Finally, the impact of EU agricultural policy reform on other policies, such as the Protocols of the Lome Convention are considered.
1. Introduction 2. Agricultural Export Subsidisation by the Industrial Countries 2.1 Explicit and Indirect Supports 2.2 EU Policies 2.3 Other OECD Countries 2.4 Summary 3. Developing Countries and Agricultural Trade Reform 3.1 Developing Countries' Interests in Aggregate 3.2 Developing Countries' Interests Disaggregated 3.3 Partial Reform and Developing Countries' Interests 3.4 A Case of Partial Reform: The Elimination of EU Export Refunds 4. Policy Implications of Export Subsidy Reform 4.1 Conditions Which Will Foster Growth and Diversification 4.2 Responding to Higher Imported Food Prices 5. Broader Agricultural Reform in the EU 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Implications for Non-Protocol Developing Countries 5.3 Implications for Protocol Countries 5.4 Policy Measures for Compensating Implications for Protocol Countries 6. Conclusions Appendix 1 Bibliography