Working Paper

From Uruguay to Doha: Agricultural Trade Negotiations at the World Trade Organization

Mar 1, 2002 | Thomas C. Beierle


This paper examines current agricultural trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization, with particular attention to the relationship between liberalization and developing countries’ economic growth and food security. Agriculture remains one of the most highly protected arenas of international trade. The cost of such protection falls particularly hard on developing countries, where agriculture typically accounts for a much higher share of economic output, exports, and employment than in developed countries. Although the 1994 Uruguay Round of trade talks succeeded in bringing agriculture into the rules-based trading system, it did little to actually reduce agricultural trade protection. This paper describes how three important actors in the agricultural trading system—the United States, the European Union, and developing countries—are positioning themselves in the current talks to deal with the unfinished business from the Uruguay Round.