The
agricultural sector has done a large extent in the fringes of the process of
trade liberalisation that has been going on for the last 25 years. The rules of
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade cover agricultural trade, but country
have found it convenient both to ask for aspersion to protect their own
domestic agicultural Interests and also to be less rigorous in the enforcement
of such rules even when derogations have not been requested.

 

The
principles of the GATT recognise that agricultural trade based on the
international division of labour is to the advantage of each country whether
importer or exporter. But the existence of extensive domestic farm-support
policies has meant that such trade has often become divorced from considerations
of efficient production moreover, such trade as exists has been characterised
by price instability and uncertainty of income for producing countries.

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One
of the alternative, which was the establishment of domestic farm policies which
are less disruptive of trade, has the larger application. Country would still
preserve their right to run as extensive a farm programme as they see fit
either individually or in conjunction with other country.