The Role Of Agricultural Subsidies In The World Trade Organization (WTO) Negotiations,
There are different views on the reasons that have contributed to the stalled Doha Round of Trade Negotiations in the World Trade Organization. Most scholars as well as some WTO Members suggest that the main cause of the stalled negotiations is the controversy surrounding the negotiations in agriculture and particular the agriculture negotiations on subsidies. This study explores the main reasons that have led to the stalled Doha Round of trade negotiations, and whether this lack of progress in the negotiations can only be attributed to the controversy surrounding the agriculture negotiations and in particular the subsidies negotiations or to other factors. The history of the inclusion of agriculture as a subject of negotiations in the Multilateral Trading System is discussed in the study as well as the role that coalition groups have played in the negotiations. The dependency Theory is used to explain the current status of the WTO negotiations and the prevailing relationships and interaction among the developed and developing countries in the WTO negotiations. The methodology used in the study includes personal interviews and documentation on the WTO negotiations, mainly books, reports, government records as well as written articles. The key findings from the study are that the negotiations on agricultural subsidies are not the only factor contributing to the lack of progress in the WTO negotiations and that other factors may also be contributing to the slow progress of the negotiations e.g. the enlarged WTO agenda, increased Membership and the political dynamics in the negotiations. The study concludes that these other factors should be addressed in tandem with the VI agriculture negotiations. In addition, the study concludes that developing countries should not be expected to further liberalize their agricultural sectors but they should be allowed to subsidize their farmers by the WTO. The study further concludes that the developed countries should reduce the trade distorting support to their fanners in order to create a level playing field in the international scene.
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