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 WTO Regime


On January 1, 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established. It is home to a series of trade accords that include agreements on services, agriculture, intellectual property rights, and other issues never before included in international trade rules. The organization was established with a commitment to raise standards of living and ensure full employment in the context of expanding trade.

The AoA can be divided into three areas: Market Access, which deals with tariff barriers and import quotas; Domestic Support Programs, such as price support payments to farmers; and Export Subsidies. In each area, the agreement lays out rules to dismantle barriers to trade by reducing tariffs and public expenditures on agriculture. The proponents of the agreement, including the U.S. and many developing countries, argued that food security would be enhanced if developed countries stopped stimulating production through price supports and export subsidies. Food security depends on an adequate supply, distribution, and access to culturally appropriate food for every individual. It depends on intricate social, cultural, economic, and political relationships that differ enormously from place to place and over time.

The AoA makes concessions to developing and least-developed countries’ (LDCs) special needs, including a longer implementation period (ten rather than six years) and lower reduction commitments for programs that support agricultural production and trade.

The principle of special and differential (S&D) treatment was used to provide developing countries with these more favorable terms. LDCs are exempt from tariff reductions (although they must bind them to a maximum level) and cuts to domestic support programs (although they are subject to a spending ceiling). LDCs are also exempt from export subsidy reduction requirements.

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A joint venture of PHDEC and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.

Pak-Indonessia Preferential Trade Agreement


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