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Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System$
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Joel P. Trachtman and Chantal Thomas

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383614.001.0001

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Special and Differential Treatment in Agricultural Trade

Special and Differential Treatment in Agricultural Trade

Breaking the Impasse

Developing Countries in the WTO Legal System

Tracey D Epps

Michael J Trebilcock

Oxford University Press

Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) has emerged as a key issue in the agricultural talks of the Doha Round Negotiations. Developed and developing countries have been unable to agree on a mutually satisfactory way forward. This chapter reviews the role of SDT policies in agricultural trade and explores the possibilities for an approach that takes account both of political realities and the ultimate goal of economic improvement for developing countries. The chapter also reviews the historical development of SDT policies, and pays particular attention to agriculture in the Uruguay Round and considers whether such policies have achieved what developing countries hoped they would. The chapter then explores what is at stake for developing countries in the Doha Development Round and examines the arguments relating to SDT policies in the agricultural sector. Finally, the chapter considers possibilities for a way forward that takes account of the goal of SDT policies as they have been conceived by developing countries, as well as the interests of developed countries and the realpolitik of trade negotiations.

Keywords:   WTO system, Doha Round, developing countries, SDT policies, international trade

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