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Doha Development Agenda | Brussels, 27 November 2015

EU leads efforts to tackle agricultural export competition at 10th WTO Ministerial Conference

Following the success of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference in 2013, the EU is leading efforts aimed at preparing a comprehensive outcome on key elements of the Doha Development Agenda in time for the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, 15-18 December 2015.

One of the central issues that will be considered at the 10th Ministerial Conference will be how to address the question of export competition in agriculture. This includes simultaneously getting rid of export subsidies and similar measures which also significantly distort international trade and disrupt local markets by: 

  • Agreeing not to provide subsidised export credits which support exports from certain countries to the detriment of other suppliers, thereby disrupting competition.
  • Agreeing to provide cash-based food aid to countries in need while refraining from giving in-kind food aid, which otherwise negatively affects local production and regional trade while subsidising the export of agricultural products from donor countries.
  • Agreeing to curtail the monopoly powers and government financing for those state trading enterprises involved in the export of agricultural products.

Addressing agricultural export competition has been a longstanding demand from many countries, notably developing and least-developed countries. Making progress on this issue would make the multilateral trading system fairer, would support farmers world-wide, and would create a more level playing field for trade across the globe.

With a view to advancing on this important issue, on 16 November the European Union, together with several other countries interested in making the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference a success, including Brazil, Argentina, Moldova, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, put forward a joint compromise proposal. The joint submission builds on an existing and widely accepted WTO negotiating text of 2008 by updating the necessary deadlines to eliminate the most trade distorting export support measures and introducing other modifications to ensure broad support for the proposal.