Inderscience Publishers

The Doha work programme on agriculture: taking non-trade concerns into account in the market access pillar

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The Doha negotiating mandate specifies that non-trade concerns (NTC), such as food security, rural development and environmental protection, shall be taken into account in the WTO agriculture negotiations. The emphasis of the negotiation mandate on NTC is crucial to the overall balance of the mandate and was decisive for many Members when they embarked on the multilateral reform process in agriculture. How NTC should be taken into account is a matter for negotiations. This contribution aims at clarifying certain concepts and providing a basis for such negotiations, focusing on the market access pillar. The paper briefly lists the NTC important to many Members and reviews certain characteristics common to these concerns. The paper explains why the market access provisions are of particular relevance to NTC and how the market access modalities should reflect such concerns.

Keywords: agreement on agriculture, Doha agenda, environmental protection, food security, jointness, multifunctionality, multifunctional agriculture, agriculture negotiations, non-trade concerns, public goods, rural development, WTO, World Trade Organisation, market access

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