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Restricted exports, breached limits & cotton aired in farm committee
02
Jul '11
The World Trade Organization Agriculture Committee discussed export restrictions, actual and potential breaches of subsidy commitments, cotton and other issue in its regular meeting on 23 June 2011.

It also continued to debate updating its list of “significant exporters” of the main traded products, a list that determines which countries have to notify their export volumes for the relevant products.

All of this came under the committee's key responsibility monitoring how the Agriculture Agreement is being implemented, including notifications from WTO members on how they are applying their commitments on market access, domestic support, export subsidies and other topics in agriculture, and to discuss these when issues arise. Members can also ask about agricultural measures that have not been notified.

Cotton was raised twice. India wanted to know what the US was doing to reform its cotton subsidies so that they comply with WTO rules, following a dispute ruling (dispute DS267 on Subsidies on Upland Cotton). The US said is working with Brazil (which brought the case to the WTO) on a mutually agreed solution while new legislation is being prepared. Brazil said it shares India's concerns about distortions. The solution it is discussing with the US is a temporary, second-best effort until the US can fully comply with the ruling, Brazil said.

The US, meanwhile asked when India would end its export restrictions on cotton. India said the measures come under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and are not handled by the Agriculture Committee. The US said that because of the impact on cotton trade, the subject is the committee's responsibility. Canada and Pakistan said they are also concerned.

World Trade Organization


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