The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) imposed meaningful disciplines on agricultural export subsidies for the first time (see AoA Issues Series: Export Subsidies). Prior to AoA implementation, export subsidies significantly distorted agricultural trade.
Under the AoA, countries that employed export subsidies for agricultural commodities agreed to lower the volume and value of their subsidies during a multiyear phase-in period. New subsidies cannot be introduced. Bona fide food aid and export market promotion and advisory services are exempt.
In the Doha Ministerial Declaration, members committed to negotiations aimed at "reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies." Moreover, the Doha negotiations have expanded the definition of export subsidies to include other export competition policies including export credits, food aid, and export state trading enterprises (STEs). WTO members have agreed to ensure the parallel elimination of direct export subsidies and imposition of disciplines on export credits, food aid policies, and STEs.
See the AoA Export Subsidies section of the recommended readings page for more information regarding export-subsidy issues related to the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.
Other Agreement on Agriculture Issues: