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Title: World trade in agricultural products under the GATT and WTO : a legal analysis
Author: Smith, Fiona
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2001
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The World Trade Organisation's (WTO) agriculture regime set out to abolish protectionist measures and institute free trade. The regime consists of the WTO Agreement of Agriculture, the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. The new rules were designed to overcome three fundamental deficiencies of the WTO's predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): firstly, GATT's inadequate rules which failed to address agricultural trade in detail; secondly, a regulatory structure which facilitated loopholes in the coverage of the agreements and consequently affected the rules' cogency and finally, adverse effects on developing countries from GATT's failure to adequately address the difficulties posed by protectionism in international agricultural trade. Despite the WTO regime's shift to an economic solution focusing on these three elements international agricultural trade is still problematic. This thesis suggests that these difficulties care caused by failure on two levels. Firstly, the WTO's rules are ineffective because they have not fully addressed the three problem areas evident during the GATT era. Secondly, the amended agriculture regime's fundamental deficiency lies in the fact that it fails to address both economic and non-economic goals. This is because the WTO's rules are exclusively based on the economic objective of free trade, which means that even if all three problem areas are addressed, substantial issues will be left unregulated. The thesis advocates the gradual removal of the free trade goal and its replacement with the goal of sustainable agriculture. This solution acknowledges the inherent tension in international agricultural trade regulation between preventing a return to protectionism and the recognition that the pursuit of non-economic goals may require the use of restrictive trade barriers in certain circumstances.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available