7. Special safeguard mechanism (SSM) 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: 6. cotton | next: 8. public stockholding for food security purposes (PSH)

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 the special safeguard mechanism (SSM), the chair’s assessment, and her draft. The draft is virtually unchanged


7.1          Several developing Members attach importance to an outcome on SSM at MC12, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, given the deep divergence among Members on some fundamental aspects of the SSM negotiations, including on the issue of linkage with market access, it has become apparent that a substantive outcome on SSM at MC12 — even in a limited or temporary setting — is increasingly unlikely. In these circumstances, and taking into consideration the current technical deficit in the SSM negotiations, my revised text proposes that Members engage in targeted thematic discussions post-MC12 to address this aspect — as my July draft text did as well. Technical elements of the SSG may inform these discussions to facilitate timely agreement on the numerous highly technical parameters of an SSM, including on scope, triggers and remedies. My draft revised text also proposes that the General Council makes recommendations on this matter to MC13 for the consideration of Ministers.

Compare with May 2022 text (3 paragraphs)
Compare with July 2021 text


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

41.          We agree to engage in enhanced technical discussions, inter alia, on the following themes: evaluation of import surges and price decreases; triggers and cross-check; remedies; scope, including coverage and the treatment of preferential trade, and transparency.

42.          Technical elements of the Special Agricultural Safeguard (SSG) in Article 5 of the Agreement on Agriculture and the experience gained in its implementation since 1995 shall be taken into account in designing the elements of the special safeguard mechanism.

43.          The General Council shall regularly review progress in these negotiations with the aim of making recommendations for the consideration of Ministers at MC13.

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

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