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Abstract

A successful agreement on agriculture is essential for an overall agreement under the WTO’s Doha trade negotiations. Reaching agreement has been difficult, and as of August 2007, much still remains to be done if a successful agreement is to be reached. We consider three of the most controversial areas of the agricultural negotiations: the relative importance of domestic support, market access and export subsidies; three market access issues of sensitive-product exceptions sought for all countries and, the additional special product exceptions sought for developing countries, the proposed special safeguard mechanism; and the domestic support issue. We show that decisions made on reform in these areas will have a critical influence on whether the negotiations achieve their objectives of promoting trade reform and reducing poverty.

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