Agriculture in the Uruguay Round by R.C. Hine, K.A. Ingersent, A.J. Rayner

By R.C. Hine, K.A. Ingersent, A.J. Rayner

Agriculture used to be an enormous merchandise at the time table of the Uruguay around of multilateral exchange negotiations below the auspices of the final contract on price lists and exchange (GATT), introduced in 1986. during this especially commissioned quantity the nationwide positions on agriculture taken up through the most important avid gamers in the course of the process those negotiations are set out and analysed, state by way of state, via a group of across the world popular specialists. The editors have chosen and ordered the stories to supply a coherent review and synthesis of the most concerns and parts of controversy raised by way of the negotiations. exam of the explanations for the maintaining of alternative nationwide views at the factor of agricultural coverage and exchange reform is helping to give an explanation for why achieving overseas contract during this zone of the GATT negotiations has been so elusive.

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The political opportunity arose in the Uruguay Round to attempt such reforms. Ambassador Yeutter, among others, was centre stage both in framing the proposals and in conducting the actual negotiations. Most knowledgeable policymakers agree on the disease; only the technical remedy was at issue. But few ever believed in the shock therapy of zero option. As with many of the ideological thrusts of the Reagan Administration, the vulnerability of the US position was overlooked, and the mechanics of executing the 'solution' was unsupported by the realpolitik of American farm programmes.

This action, which is based on discrim ination and bilateralism, was unhelpful, to say the least. For these reasons the Round collapsed in December 1990 - eighteen months later it has still not been completed. The Gatt Secretariat has attempted to force the pace of developments in various ways. For example, in the autumn of 1991, the number of negotiating groups was slimmed down to 8 'negotiating areas' in an attempt to bundle a larger number of issues together and expedite progress. When this failed to deliver an outcome, Mr Dunkel, the Director General, presented the CPs with the so-called 'Final Act', an agreement in draft, with appropriate 'square brackets' around controversial issues.

Its answer was a rejection of the League of Nations in the early 1920s, followed by a reinforced protectionism throughout that decade, and by the disastrous Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act of 1929. Failed protectionist attempts to 'make the tariff effective for agriculture' centred on five McNaryHaugen Bills (1924-8) which included a two-price system. As an added negative effect on world trade, the United States for some years after WWI ignored its new role as the world's chief creditor. In an attempt to reverse isolationism and failed trade policies the US Congress enacted the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTA) of June 1934 in which was incorporated the unique idea of Reciprocal Trade Agreements, an idea which has endured for more than 50 years of trade negotiations.

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