The agricultural sector, like the textile sector, has a history of protection. Developed countries, especially the EC and the US, continued to provide large amounts of subsidies to their agricultural producers and the scanty provisions of GATT 1947 (for example, arts XI and XVI) were unable to check them. Disciplines of GATT were thwarted either in the form of waivers as was the case with the US or by just ignoring them as was the case with the EC. After much insistence from the developing countries, some disciplines on agricultural sector were sought to be imposed in the Uruguay Round. There are three main areas of commitment in the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture:
1 Market access: Non-tariff measures have to be eliminated. They may be converted into equivalent tariffs. The normal tariff and tariff equivalent of nontariff measures after conversion are added together to form the base tariff level. This tariff total has to be reduced over the implementation period. Therefore there is a bound tariff level for any particular product, which gets reduced from year to year during the implementation period. However, temporary restraints on market access can be imposed by special safeguard provisions or under art. XIX of GATT 1994.