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The World Trade Organization rounds on agriculture : prospects for animal productions in the European Union

INRA Prod. Anim., 16(5), 301-316.


1 INRA ESR, rue de la Géraudière, BP 71627, 44316 Nantes Cedex 3

2 INRA ESR, 4 allée Adolphe Bobierre, CS 61103, 35011 Rennes Cedex


The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agricultureapplied over the six-year period from July 1995 to June2001. It included commitments to increase marketaccess, reduce subsidised exports and diminish tradedistorting domestic support. In a general way, theagreement was not really constraining for the variousanimal productions in the European Union. It howeverforced the European Union to decrease subsidisedexports for poultry, pork and some dairy products. Onthe other hand, it also forced the European Union todevelop unsubsidised exports for the same products.The final outcome of the Doha Round is still very uncertain.An agricultural agreement along the same lines asthe Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture wouldnot be a threat to the various European animal sectors.However, too large increases of tariff rate quotaswould put additional pressure on market equilibriumswithin the European Union. In the same way, theEuropean Union should not face any problems on thedomestic support dossier if the single payment per farmintroduced by the Common Agricultural Policy reformof June 2003 is included in the green box. Such a classificationis more than likely if the definition of thegreen box is not challenged in the Doha Round.However, several countries ask for a revision of thegreen box definition and/or argue that all domesticsupport should be reduced even if it is currently consideredas green. Several internal factors would alsoinfluence animal production patterns in the EuropeanUnion over the next decade. These factors include foodquality and security, environment protection, ruraldevelopment or animal welfare. These factors are mainlyconsidered as constraints. They can however also bedifferentiation vectors for European animal products.

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