By Timothy E. Josling, Stefan Tangermann, T. K. Warley (auth.)
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Extra info for Agriculture in the GATT
Part A, which was the unchanged single clause of the old article, was still the only constraint on domestic subsidies in agriculture. Surplus Disposal In addition to their preoccupation with the use of agricultural export subsidies as such, in the 1950s the smaller and developing exporters were also concerned by the practice of disposing of surplus stocks on highly concessional terms or as outright gifts. These stocks were the excess supplies acquired by public agencies under price and income support arrangements.
At first it was thought that surplus disposal would be a passing phenomenon, but by the mid-1950s it was apparent that it was an enduring feature of the world food trade system. Moreover, the scale of surplus disposal operations grew to a level where it was disrupting the trade of countries exporting on commercial terms. In the early 1950s, concessional sales and gifts accounted for 20-30 per cent of all United States agricultural exports and some 60 per cent of its wheat exports. Attempts to bring national surplus disposal operations into a multi- Early Encounters: 1948-60 33 lateral framework were made in the FAO with a proposal in 1946 for the creation of a World Food Board, a proposal for the establishment of an International Commodity Clearing House in 1949, and in 1954 an invitation from the UN General Assembly to the FAO to examine the feasibility of establishing a World Food Reserve.
West Germany chose not to seek a 'hard core' waiver 5 (BISD 8S/31-50) for its agricultural import practices Early Encounters: 1948-60 31 because it was unwilling to give 'any undertakings or assurances ... about future commercial policy as it affected agriculture'. No doubt many other countries, if pressed, would have had to say much the same, particularly those that, at the time, like West Germany, were turning their attention to the design of a common agricultural policy for the regional economic grouping taking shape in Europe.
Agriculture in the GATT by Timothy E. Josling, Stefan Tangermann, T. K. Warley (auth.)