Global Politics Review
Vol. 1, No. 1 (October 2015): 63-81.
GPR ID: 2464-9929_v01_i01_p63
Published: 30 October 2015
Abstract: The World Trade Organization (WTO) has treated agricultural subsidies as exceptional. Under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994, subsidies are in general regulated under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (the SCM Agreement) while agricultural subsidies are regulated under the Agreement on Agriculture (the AoA). This paper delves into the historical backgrounds of diverging regulatory patterns of the two by referring to the legal documents from the ITO Havana Charter in 1948 to the GATT 1994. Along with the historical review, rationales for justifying the exceptional status of agricultural products are thoroughly examined. This paper concludes that convergence of the SCM Agreement and the AoA is required in the long-run for strengthening the legal consistency and fairness of the WTO subsidies regime.
Keywords: WTO, Subsidies, Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the Agreement on Agriculture, Convergence.
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