The GATT 1947 originally applied to agriculture, but it was incomplete, and the signatory States (or “Contracting Parties”) excluded this sector from the scope of the principles set out in the General Agreement. During the period 1947-1994, Members were allowed to apply for export subsidies for primary agricultural products and to impose import restrictions under certain conditions, so that major agricultural raw materials face trade barriers of an unusual magnitude in other product sectors. The road to a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system has therefore been long and difficult; and the negotiations were finally concluded during the Uruguay Round. Agriculture has been signed in WTO agreements and trade agreements (which were signed in 1994 and were signed on 1). January 1995) a special status, since the sector has a specific agreement, the Agreement on Agriculture, whose provisions prevail. In addition, certain provisions of the Agreement on the Application of Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) also concern agricultural production and trade. The same applies to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) with regard to the protection of geographical indications. In addition, the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture are complemented by the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and technical assistance mechanisms. In principle, all WTO agreements and arrangements on trade in goods apply to agriculture, including the GATT 1994 and WTO agreements on issues such as customs valuation, import licensing procedures, preshipment inspections, emergency protection measures, subsidies and technical barriers to trade. However, in the event of a conflict between those agreements and the Agreement on Agriculture, the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture shall prevail.
The WTO Agreements on Trade in Services and on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights also apply to agriculture. Since then, other legal texts such as the Information Technology Agreement, services and accession protocols have been developed as part of the negotiations. Further negotiations were opened at the Doha Ministerial Conference in November 2001. For goods in general: binding customs obligations. Specific and differentiated provisions in legal texts: the agricultural negotiations in the Uruguay Round were not easy, as the broad scope of the negotiations and their political sensitivity necessarily called into question a lot of time to reach agreement on the new rules, and a lot of technical work was needed to create solid means of formalising commitments in policy areas, which go beyond the scope of previous GATT practice. The Agreement on Agriculture and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures were negotiated in parallel, and a decision on measures relating to the possible negative impact of the reform programme on least developed and net food-importing developing countries was also part of the overall results. In the period following the Uruguay Round negotiations, it became increasingly clear that the causes of disorder in world agriculture went beyond the problems of access to imports, which have traditionally been at the heart of the GATT negotiations. .