Negotiated disciplines on export credits in agriculture are intended to (1) eliminate any subsidy element caused by preferential financing or low fees and (2) provide special and differential treatment for developing countries. Inconsistent foundations of these two objectives limit the potential for negotiations on the disciplines to succeed. The subsidy element cannot be eliminated without agreement on the benchmark. Eliminating all advantage relative to private institutions precludes any reason to continue government support. Favourable financing to developing countries would introduce a prohibited subsidy. In their capacity to provide special and differential treatment, export credits fall well short of the requirements for food aid.


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