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Do the World Trade Organization's rules on 'green box' farm subsidies allow both rich and poor countries to achieve important goals such as food security, or do they worsen poverty, distort trade and harm the environment? Current WTO requirements set no ceiling on the amount of green box subsidies that governments can provide, on the basis that these payments cause only minimal trade distortion. Governments are thus increasingly shifting their subsidy spending into this category, as they come under pressure to reduce subsidies that are more directly linked to production. However, growing evidence nonetheless suggests that green box payments can affect production and trade, harm farmers in developing countries and cause environmental damage. By bringing together new research and critical thinking, this book examines the relationship between green box subsidies and the achievement of sustainable development goals, and explores options for future reform.
This examination of the law in action of WTO dispute settlement takes a developing-country perspective. Providing a bottom-up assessment of the challenges, experiences and strategies of individual developing countries, it assesses what these countries have done and can do to build the capacity to deploy and shape the WTO legal system, as well as the daunting challenges that they face. Chapters address developing countries of varying size and wealth, including China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Bangladesh. Building from empirical work by leading academics and practitioners, this book provides a much needed understanding of how the WTO dispute settlement system actually operates behind the scenes for developing countries.