In principle, all WTO agreements and arrangements on trade in goods apply to agriculture, including GATT 1994 and WTO agreements on issues such as customs valuation, import certificate procedures, preshipment inspections, early protection measures, subsidies and technical barriers to trade. However, in the event of a conflict between these agreements and the Convention on Agriculture, priority shall be given to the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture. Wto agreements on trade in services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights also apply to agriculture. The Uruguay Round of agricultural negotiations were not easy, as the scale of the negotiations and their political sensitivity necessarily called into question a great deal of time to reach agreement on the new rules and it took a great deal of technical work to put in place solid means to formalise commitments in policy areas that go beyond previous GATT practice. The Agreement on Agriculture and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures were negotiated in parallel and a decision on measures to be taken regarding the potential negative effects of the reform programme on least developed and net food-importing developing countries was also part of the overall outcome. Noting that the commitments made under the reform agenda should be made equitably by all members, without taking into account trade policy issues, including food security and the need to protect the environment; Recalling the agreement that special and differential treatment of developing countries is an integral part of the negotiations and taking into account the potential negative effects of the implementation of the reform agenda on least developed and net food-importing developing countries, National agricultural support schemes are governed by the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), entered into force in 1995 and negotiated during the Uruguay Round (1986-1994). The long-term objective of the AoA is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system and to initiate a reform process by negotiating commitments on assistance and protection and establishing stronger and more operationally effective rules and disciplines. Agriculture is therefore special because the sector has a separate agreement whose provisions are given priority. the obligation to honour specific binding commitments in each of the following areas: market access; domestic aid; export competition; and to reach agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary issues; Until the 1980s, public payments to agricultural producers in developed countries had led to large crop surpluses, dumped on the world market by export subsidies and lowering food prices. The tax burden related to safeguard measures has increased, both due to lower revenues from import duties and higher domestic expenditures. Meanwhile, the global economy had entered a cycle of recession and the perception that open markets could improve economic conditions led to calls for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.

[2] The round would open markets for high-tech services and goods and ultimately lead to much-needed efficiency gains. . . .