WTO Agriculture Negotiations
The Agreement on Agriculture, which came into force in 1995, provides a framework for the reform of agricultural trade with the long-term objective of establishing a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system. The Agreement covers 3 main areas:
- Market access: border measures such as tariffs on imports
- Domestic support: subsidies and other support programmes that provide a benefit to agricultural producers
- Export competition: export subsidies, export financing and other government programs that benefit exports, agricultural exporting state trading enterprises, and international food aid
Negotiations to further reform agricultural trade began in 2000 under a mandate incorporated into the Agreement on Agriculture and were rolled into the broader Doha Round during the Doha Ministerial Conference in 2001.
Canada’s negotiating objectives
Canada has a fundamental interest in further strengthening the international rules governing agricultural trade.
Investment or production decisions made by Canadian farmers and processors in the Canadian agricultural economy are influenced by the international market, whether production is intended mainly for export or for the domestic market. The continued growth of the Canadian agriculture sector is dependent on new markets, and the Government has set the goal of reaching $75 billion in annual agriculture and agri-food exports by 2025.
In support of this objective, Canada is seeking to create new opportunities for Canadian farmers and processors and to level the international playing field. In the context of WTO agriculture negotiations, we have been seeking the elimination of all forms of export subsidies, the substantial reduction of production and trade-distorting domestic support, and real and significant market access improvements on products of export interest to Canadian farmers and food processors. An agreement to eliminate export subsidies was reached at the Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya; however, negotiations on domestic support, market access and other forms of export competition are ongoing.
Canada continues to play a constructive leadership role and will work collaboratively with other Members to find pragmatic ways forward.
For more information on the WTO Agriculture Negotiations, please refer to the Agriculture: Work in the WTO page.
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