By Timothy E. Josling, Stefan Tangermann, T. K. Warley (auth.)
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"We reside in an Age of Endarkenment. Our financial, social and political structures have failed us. sleek economics has no longer performed what it promised. It has widened the distance among wealthy and bad. It has now not allotted the world's assets really. It has introduced the West to the edge of economic damage. It has valued momentary achieve greater than long term development.
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These developments are of such a character that either they have weakened or threaten to weaken the operation of the General Agreement as an instrument for the promotion of mutually advantageous trade. This situation raises the question as to the extent to which the GATT is an effective instrument for the promotion of such trade. (GATT, 1962b, p. 25) As Kock observed, in GAIT's legal terms and language, these were very strong words (Kock, 1969, p. 174). Committee IT did not proceed to examine GATT rules as they applied to agricultural trade, and this part of its mandate was subsequently dropped.
On agriculture, the report did a number of things. First, it documented the pervasiveness of interventionist policies for agriculture in the developed countries and drew attention to the diversity of policy instruments that were employed. The latter included the full array of domestic subsidies on products and inputs, aids to exports, and import barriers. It was noted that most of the instruments were non-tariff measures, and that, as such, their use was but poorly controlled by the General Agreement.
The unease was exacerbated in I 956, when the process of forming the European Economic Community was begun and early indications appeared that the Six intended to embrace a protectionist and inward-looking common policy for agriculture. Anxieties were raised further by the prospect that the world's largest food importer, the United Kingdom, would apply for membership in the Community and radically change its food import arrangements. In all, there was a gathering sense of malaise in the international 36 Agriculture in the GATT trading system in the mid-l950s, and much of this disenchantment was concerned with the bad and deteriorating conditions in trade in agriculture resulting from widespread agricultural protectionism.
Agriculture in the GATT by Timothy E. Josling, Stefan Tangermann, T. K. Warley (auth.)