7. Special safeguard mechanism (SSM) in July 2021 draft agriculture negotiations text

The draft aims for decisions at the November 30–December 3, 2021 ministerial conference (“MC12”)

See also
New agriculture draft suggests nervousness in divided WTO

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By Peter Ungphakorn

Note: the official July 29, 2021 draft text for the WTO agriculture negotiations is here with a minor correction here. Links to all sections are here.

This page combines the two sections of the text on the special safeguard mechanism (SSM), the chair’s assessment, and her draft


7.1.         On SSM, both the report by the Facilitator8 and my state of play report9 have acknowledged the lack of technical engagement among Members. The proposed draft decision on SSM principally seeks to address this very aspect of the SSM negotiations by encouraging Members to organize technical discussions around five major themes, namely, evaluation of import surges and price decreases; triggers and cross-check; remedies; scope, including coverage and the treatment of preferential trade, and transparency and other issues. The identification of these thematic elements is based on the SSM Facilitator-led process and the final report of the Facilitator. Considering my agreement with the Facilitator on the role of the SSG in facilitating the technical discussions on SSM, I have made a proposal along these lines in my draft text.

8 JOB/AG/201.      9 JOB/AG/202.

7.2.         I have taken note of the recent proposal by the African Group10 covering both price-based and volume-based SSM. I encourage both the proponents and non-proponents to engage so as to better appreciate each other’s positions.

10 JOB/AG/205 and Corr.1

Compare with new November 2021 text


The Ministerial Conference,

Having regard to paragraph 1 of Article IX of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization;

Reaffirming the Ministerial Decision of 19 December 2015 (WT/MIN(15)/43 – WT/L/978);

In the context of addressing outstanding agricultural issues; and

Taking note of the proposals made by Members in this regard;

Decides as follows:

1.             Pursuant to the Nairobi Ministerial Decision (WT/MIN(15)/43 – WT/L/978), Members shall continue to pursue negotiations on a special safeguard mechanism for developing country Members in dedicated sessions of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session (CoA-SS).

2.            In order to make progress in the negotiations, Members shall engage in enhanced technical discussions on the following specific themes identified in the Facilitator-led SSM process: evaluation of import surges and price decreases; triggers and cross-check; remedies; scope, including coverage and the treatment of preferential trade; and transparency and other issues.

3.             Technical discussions shall be guided by the Special Safeguard (SSG) provisions in Article 5 of the Agreement on Agriculture taking into account the experience gained in its implementation since 1995.

4.            The General Council shall regularly review progress in these negotiations.

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Updates: None so far
Image credit: Background aerial shot of farmland | Julian Ebert, Unsplash, CCO

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