Markets and trade

E-learning course: Agriculture in Trade Agreements

16 October – 17 November 2017, Online

Assisting developing countries in implementing current trade agreements and in preparing for trade negotiations is a core activity of FAO. Support to the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Uruguay Round Agreements and to the negotiations on agriculture under the Doha Round have been prominent activities in this area. Regional trade agreements (RTAs) are also becoming increasingly important. While agriculture is an integral part of these agreements, its treatment in RTAs has been a divisive policy issue.

Through the 2014 Malabo Declaration, African governments made a specific and clear commitment to boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services, and to harnessing market and trade opportunities locally, regionally, and internationally. This is increasingly regarded as a means to promote agricultural transformation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), since it can help address the key challenges to agricultural development in the region such as diverse agro-ecological systems, and small national markets.

The increasing need for trade experts to support trade related development agenda in the region has posed a major challenge. In most cases, national and regional institutions do not have the technical capacity and resources to map out national, sub-regional and regional level trade priorities and constraints; to empirically assess the implications of their multiple memberships on trade, food security and nutrition; to formulate appropriate mitigation policies and strategies; or to negotiate trade agreements that boost gains from trade and specialization.

This course therefore seeks to strengthen capacities in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, to develop and implement evidence-based trade policies, and to formulate and negotiate trade agreements, taking into consideration both their needs for economic growth and structural transformation, as well as their food security and nutrition concerns.

The course provided 4 units as below:

Unit 1:  The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture (AoA)

Lesson 1.1: Agriculture in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the WTO AoA provisions on Market Access
 Lesson 1.2: The WTO AoA provisions on Domestic Support and Export Competition
 Lesson 1.3: The WTO AoA implementation and the Doha Round negotiations

Unit 2: Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) in agriculture and related WTO Agreements

 Lesson 2.1: Introduction to NTMs in agriculture, the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures  
 Lesson 2.2: The WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and other related agreements

Unit 3:  Agriculture in Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) 

 Lesson 3.1: Trends in Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs)
 Lesson 3.2: RTA provisions on tariffs, TRQs, SPS and TBT
 Lesson 3.3: RTA provisions on Export Restrictions and Rules of Origin

Unit 4: Agriculture in Trade Agreements: Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA)

 Lesson 4.1: Treatment of Agriculture in ESA RTAs
 Lesson 4.2: Application of WTO SPS, TBT and TF Agreements in ESA RTAs
 Lesson 4.3: Treatment of SPS, TBT, TFA and Tariffs under the  Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA)
 Lesson 4.4: Third Party RTAs and their implications on ESA