Agricultural Subsidies in the WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence with Sustainable Development Goals

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Overview

Do the World Trade Organization's rules on 'green box' farm subsidies allow both rich and poor countries to achieve important goals such as food security, or do they worsen poverty, distort trade and harm the environment? Current WTO requirements set no ceiling on the amount of green box subsidies that governments can provide, on the basis that these payments cause only minimal trade distortion. Governments are thus increasingly shifting their subsidy spending into this category, as they come under pressure to reduce subsidies that are more directly linked to production. However, growing evidence nonetheless suggests that green box payments can affect production and trade, harm farmers in developing countries and cause environmental damage. By bringing together new research and critical thinking, this book examines the relationship between green box subsidies and the achievement of sustainable development goals, and explores options for future reform.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book constitutes a long-awaited and valuable contribution to clarifying what has become the core of agricultural negotiations: the fear that abusive migration toward so-called green-box subsidies might render meaningless any apparent progress in reduction of the more obvious distorting modalities. It is a well-balanced and thoughtful analysis of all relevant arguments in the debate and provides trade negotiators with an enlightened guidance to help the Doha Round deliver on its promise of putting world trade to the service of development needs and environmental improvement.' Ambassador Rubens Ricupero, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

'ICTSD has done the cause of agricultural trade reform a genuine service with its initiative to commission and edit this collection of papers on the impacts of existing Green Box subsidy expenditures and the case for changes in the WTO rules governing them. The book brings together thoughtful contributions from some of the best known experts in the field … [It] is a valuable compilation of analysis, comment and suggestions on the issues and deserves wide exposure.' Joanna Hewitt, former lead WTO negotiator and previous Head of Division in the OECD's Agriculture Directorate

'This volume should prove invaluable for anyone seeking an encyclopedic and comprehensive coverage of current issues relating to green-box support. The sheer volume of material in this collection is staggering … I highly recommend the book to scholars of agricultural policy as well as to policy-makers interested in the intimate details associated with the WTO green box. The papers presented by this distinguished panel of experts provide an invaluable resource that previously did not exist in any single place.' The Journal of World Trade Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521519694
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Pages: 706
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz is co-founder and Chief Executive of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). His previous experience encompasses responsibility in a diverse range of capacities at the interface of international trade and sustainable development.

Christophe Bellmann is the Programmes Director at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). Before joining ICTSD, Mr Bellmann worked with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and with the Swiss Coalition of Development Organisations.

Jonathan Hepburn is Programme Officer for Agriculture at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). Before joining ICTSD, he represented Oxfam International to the World Bank and IMF in Washington D.C., and led Oxfam's global campaign on aid, debt and the Millennium Development Goals. Previously, he worked on trade, development and human rights issues with the Quaker United Nations Office, Geneva.

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Table of Contents

List of contributors viii

Preface xvii

Acknowledgements xxiii

List of abbreviations xxv

1 Overview Christophe Bellmann Jonathan Hepburn 1

Part I The recent evolution of agricultural trade policy reform 17

2 The historical context of the green box Néstor Stancanelli 19

3 Doha Round negotiations on the green box and beyond Jonathan Hepburn Christophe Bellmann 36

4 The reform of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy Alan Swinbank 70

5 Farm policy reform in the United States: past progress and future direction David Orden 86

6 Agricultural trade policy reform in Japan Masayoshi Honma 121

Part II The focus, extent and economic impact of green box subsidies 135

7 An analysis of EU, US and Japanese green box spending Jesús Antón 137

8 Green box subsidies and trade-distorting supports: is there a cumulative impact? Carlos Galperín Ivana Doporto Miguez 239

9 The distributional structure of green box subsidies in the European Union and France Vincent Chatellier 258

10 The distributional structure of US green box subsidies Harry De Gorter 304

Part III Green box subsidies and developing countries 327

11 Agricultural subsidies in the WTO green box: opportunities and challenges for developing countries André Nassar Maria Elba Rodriguez-Alcalá Cinthia Costa Saulo Nogueira 329

12 Use of green box measures by developing countries: an assessment Biswajit Dhar 369

13 A Chinese perspective on the green box Jianmin Xie 399

14 African countries and the green box Abena Oduro 412

Part IV Green box subsidies and the environment 425

15 The environmental impact of green box subsidies: exploring the linkages Ronald Steenblik Charles Tsai 427

16 The environmental impact of EU green box subsidies Ariel Brunner Harry Huyton 468

17 The environmental impact of US green box subsidies Jane Earley 496

18 Biofuels subsidies and the green box Timothy Josling David Blandford 530

Part V Looking forward: how can change take place? 569

19 Improving monitoring and surveillance of green box subsidies Andrea Cerda 571

20 EU subsidy reform: options for achieving change Teresa Cavero 583

21 Subsidy reform in the US context: deviating from decoupling Ann Tutwiler 604

22 Agricultural trade policy reform in Japan: options for achieving change Kazuhito Yamashita 618

23 Towards a green box subsidy regime that promotes sustainable development: strategies for achieving change Pedro De Camargo Neto Renato Henz 633

Appendix: Text of Annex 2 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture ("the green box") 647

Index 654

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