4. Export competition/subsidies in November 2021 draft agriculture negotiations text

Little sign of convergence in the draft WTO agriculture text, November 19, 2021 | farming, Luxembourg (Johny Goerend, Unsplash)

See also
Pre-ministerial draft shows little to harvest in WTO farm talks

Previous: 3. market access | next: 5. export restrictions

By Peter Ungphakorn

Note: the official draft text is available as a public document here. It was circulated on November 23, 2021 by Ambassador Gloria Abraham Peralta of Costa Rica, the present chair of the negotiations. See the WTO news story of November 25 on the release and discussion. Links to all sections are here.

This page combines the two sections of the text on export competition, the chair’s assessment, and her draft.

The annex on export financing in the July draft has been dropped completely.


4.1          During my consultations, there was broad support for several elements in the draft text contained in JOB/AG/215. This was the case for the sections on: the continuation of post-MC12 negotiations; the recognition of the importance of effective implementation and monitoring of the Nairobi Ministerial Decision on Export Competition; the acknowledgement of the triennial reviews of the Decision; and the recognition of the need for the Secretariat to provide appropriate support to developing country Members that are not yet accustomed to responding to the annual Export Competition Questionnaire.

4.2          Most of the discussions addressed the question of transparency, including a post-MC12 work programme and the possibility of encouraging Members to provide export data with the support of the Secretariat if deemed necessary.

4.3          The draft text builds on the intensive exchanges between proponents and groups of non-proponents, and seeks to find a compromise that reflects the concerns of all Members. It therefore both acknowledges Members’ shared willingness to enhance transparency in this area and also recognizes that some developing country Members remain concerned about the capacity constraints they may face.

Compare with the May 2022 text (one paragraph)
Compare with July 2021 text


20.          We agree to continue negotiations on export competition after MC12 building on the evidence amassed during the review undertaken in the Committee on Agriculture, with a view to enhancing disciplines on export credits, export credit guarantees or insurance programmes, agricultural exporting state trading enterprises and international food aid, to ensure that there is no circumvention of the relevant disciplines which undermines export subsidy elimination commitments and to prevent non-commercial transactions from being used to circumvent such commitments. Flexibilities, when appropriate, may include, inter alia, longer implementation periods.

21.          We reaffirm our commitment to ensure an effective implementation and monitoring of the Nairobi Ministerial Decision on Export Competition (WT/MIN(15)/45 – WT/L/980).

22.          We welcome in this regard the two Triennial Reviews of the Nairobi Decision undertaken by the Committee on Agriculture in 2018 and 2021, pursuant to paragraph 5 of the Nairobi Decision and commit to successfully conclude the Second Triennial Review at the first 2022 meeting of the Committee on Agriculture.

23.          With a view to ensuring the effective implementation of the Nairobi Decision, Members invite the WTO Secretariat to pursue efforts to provide support as appropriate, based on the challenges identified by developing country Members that are not yet accustomed to responding to the annual Export Competition Questionnaire, including through information sessions, technical assistance and capacity-building activities.

24.          In light of the changes introduced in the area of export competition following the adoption of the Bali Ministerial Declaration on Export Competition (WT/MIN(13)/40) and the Nairobi Ministerial Decision on Export Competition, we commit to explore ways in the Committee on Agriculture to streamline and update the monitoring and transparency requirements on export competition through an evidence-based process, taking due account of the capacity constraints faced by some developing country Members, particularly the least-developed among them.2

2 Pending the outcome of the work on a possible update of the export competition questionnaire, Members are encouraged to provide national level export data by product or product group for: (i) export financing programs, (ii) international food aid, and (iii) agricultural state trading enterprises, subject to normal commercial confidentiality considerations. The WTO Secretariat shall upon request by Members provide this data and shall also provide total world exports for the corresponding products and product groups.

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Updates: None so far
Image credit: Background aerial shot of farmland | Johny Goerend, Unsplash licence

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