When we talk about agriculture agreements, we are essentially referring to the agreements made between countries or regions that relate to the production, trade, or consumption of agricultural products. These agreements are crucial as they ensure a stable and sustainable supply of food and other agricultural products.
Agriculture agreements can be bilateral or multilateral, and they cover a wide range of issues, such as tariffs, quotas, subsidies, and technical barriers to trade. These agreements are usually negotiated by governments, but they also involve the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and consumers.
One of the most significant agriculture agreements is the World Trade Organization`s Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), which came into effect in 1995 as part of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. The AoA is a multilateral agreement that aims to promote free and fair trade in agricultural products. It covers three main areas: market access, domestic support, and export competition.
Market access refers to the removal of barriers to trade, such as tariffs and quotas, and the creation of a level playing field for all countries. Domestic support includes measures such as subsidies and price support, which can distort trade and affect the competitiveness of other countries. Export competition aims to address the negative effects of subsidies and other forms of support that promote exports to the detriment of domestic production in importing countries.
Another important agriculture agreement is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was signed by 12 countries in 2016 but has since been terminated. The TPP aimed to promote trade and investment between the participating countries and included provisions related to agriculture, such as tariffs, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and intellectual property rights.
In summary, agriculture agreements are essential to ensure that agricultural products are produced, traded, and consumed in a sustainable and equitable manner. These agreements help to promote free and fair trade, remove barriers to trade, and address the negative effects of support measures. As such, they play a crucial role in ensuring food security and promoting economic development.