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Title: An examination of some legal problems relating to international trade in agricultural products : a critique of the evolving international agricultural trade regime of developing countries under the auspices of the GATT, by particular reference to Uruguay round trade negotiations
Author: Moradi, Hassan
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1994
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This study critically examines the legal aspects of the agricultural trade performance of developing countries in GATT Multilateral Trade Negotiations. Following an introductory Chapter outlining the general background of trade in agricultural products and defining the main elements of the thesis, Chapter Two focuses on an analysis of the substantive agricultural trade provisions within the GATT. It also argues that GATT rules in farm trade are generally weaker than those which apply to other sectors, and thus warrant strengthening. The third Chapter examines the trade achievements of developing countries in seven consecutive multilateral rounds of trade negotiations under the auspices and contractual rights and obligations of the GATT. It considers the reality of many sectors of particular interest to developing countries such as agriculture, textiles, clothing and footwear, which have been subjected to 'exceptional' treatment. The Chapter gives a chronological examination of the evolving agricultural trade regime of developing countries after World War II, up to the Uruguay Round negotiations. Chapter Four embodies the basic argument of the thesis by analysing two different perspectives of developing and industrial countries in the system. It argues that, despite the inclusion of Part IV to the GATT in favour of developing countries and the application of special and preferential treatment, these countries have been the main victims of disarray in the agricultural trading system. Their efforts to increase export earnings in the context of the existing GATT framework are shown to have been hampered or undermined by strong protectionist measures of industrial countries. The strong need for developing countries to receive permanent special and preferential treatment in their exports to industrial countries is outlined as is their demand to be more integrated into the trading system. It argues that the new waves of bilateralism and regionalism by industrial countries, even under the umbrella of Article XXIV, has negated impacts on the principles and practice of multilateralism. An ever-growing number of bilateral trade- arrangements have been agreed outside the framework of GATT, to the detriment of weaker trading partners. Serious trade conflicts and high budgetary costs were experienced by industrial countries in the agricultural sector in the 1980s and that, combined with the growing recognition that farm programmes were not working effectively, convinced governments to establish a fair and market-oriented trading system. The fifth Chapter analyses the status of agricultural trade in the final Uruguay Round negotiations and investigates the conflict that arose as a consequence of the increasing protection afforded to the agricultural sector within nearly all industrial countries. It indicates that in the UR there were signs of change. The developing states tried to use the external trading environment as a vehicle to speed their development. It is why a number of these countries were actively involved in the launch and decision making process of the UR and its outcomes. The final Chapter seeks an optimal trade perspective to benefit all contracting parties by analysing the positive moves toward a global consensus in the entire history of GATT negotiations. The final remarks also identify the conclusions of the thesis. This suggests that it is time that industrial countries recognise the increased participation of their developing partners. Consideration should be given to economic, political and social concerns, such as food security, environmental protection and overall employment, which can build an equitable international trading environment that every country could get its fair share of the market. It also concludes that despite achievements in liberalizing trade in many sectors, the overall international trading environment, and especially the agricultural sector, warrants a substantial improvement redressed in favour of developing countries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available