Agriculture and Pakistan
The WTO’s Agriculture Agreement was negotiated in the 1986–94 Uruguay Round and is a significant first step towards fairer competition and a less distorted sector. It includes specific commitments by WTO member governments to improve market access and reduce trade-distorting subsidies in agriculture. WTO members agreed to initiate negotiations for continuing the agricultural trade reform process one year before the end of the implementation period, i.e. by the end of 1999. These talks began in early 2000 under the original mandate of Article 20 of the Agriculture Agreement. At the November 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference, the agriculture negotiations became part of the single undertaking.
Agriculture is one of the most contentious issues in the DDA negotiations as the major WTO member countries have vast differences mainly on the issues of Domestic Support (subsidies) and Market Access (tariffs). Developing countries want reduction/removal of various forms of subsidies and reduction in tariffs so that the prices in international markets are not distorted and developing countries get reasonable market access in the developed markets.
Pakistan is member of the Cairns Group (an alliance of 18 countries looking for ambitious outcome in the Market Access areas), G-20 (group for safeguarding interest of developing countries in agriculture negotiations) and the G-33 (group of developing countries and LDCs aiming to get preferential terms in Market Access and Special and Differential treatment)