THE DOHA DEVELOPMENT AGENDA (DDA).
Under the provision of Article 20 of the AoA, countries can negotiate on global commitments. This provision is further elaborated under the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) which focuses on development and opening of markets in agriculture, manufacturing and services. The DDA’s implementation process has to end in December 2004, yet its progress has been adversely affected because of conflict of interests of different countries.
Doha Development Agenda (DDA) has the following proposals:
- Reduction of industrial goods and services.
- Phasing out subsidies to farm production.
- Cutting off barriers to cross-border investment
- Restricting the use of anti-dumping laws.
The agriculture related issues in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) are:
- Cutting off the high level of trade distorting domestic subsidies provided by developed countries to their agricultural producers.
- harmonizing the quantum of farm export subsidies.
- reducing the tariffs on export of agricultural goods by emerging nations.
The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) stipulates:
- cutting off the total AMS.
- reducing the deminimis limits for many countries.
- Introducing a limit on the blue box measures.
It also aims at disciplining the green-box measures that allow unlimited support to developed countries and restrict other potentially production-centric and demand destabilizing measures like the bio-fuels programs in the United States, the European Union and Brazil. This is because it has the potential contribution of bio-fuel programs to: (i) influence the prices of food products in the global market, and (ii) thereby have impact on the food globally.
Major Achievements of Doha Development Agenda (DDA):
The DDA could make the EU, US and Japan agree to cut off trade distorting farm subsidies. This was not possible in the previous rounds of negotiations of WTO. The S & D treatment was clearly mentioned in DDA with respect to the ‘de minimis’ programs for small farmers in developing nations. In this regard, India strongly negotiated do four issues:
- Food security.
- Market access.
- Elimination of distortions in export subsidies.
- Cutting off the domestic subsidies.
India argues that the issue of food and livelihood security of developing Countries has to be given priority in the negotiations on DDA. India has proposed the introduction of a ‘Food Security Box’ in the AoA especially for facilitating the protection of resource poor, small and marginal farmers on the grounds of food and livelihood security.
Points of Trough in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA):
Even after more than a decade of declaration of DDA, agricultural trade is still subjected to various protections and the DDA has remained an unfinished agenda. Political considerations restrict countries to be more open for these negotiations. On this agenda, the concerns of developing countries have not yet been adequately addressed in the negotiations.
If the DDA is implemented effectively, developing countries like India will be immensely benefited. It has been difficult to reach a consensus on reducing the huge subsidies provide by the industrialized countries which threaten poor farmers in the developing world. It was concluded at the ministerial meeting of the WTO held in Geneva in 2011 that the DDA has not been to able to reach any logical conclusion.