ABSTRACT

The careful and thorough work done over many years within the OECD provided the intellectual basis upon which ministers, first in the OECD Council and later among the heads of government in the economic summit meetings, expressed their concern about what was happening in the agricultural sector. One of the achievements of the Tokyo summit was to secure a recognition that, when it comes to agricultural protectionism, virtually all developed countries are sinners. This has by no means stopped all the mutual recriminations, but it has provided the only realistic basis for a process of multilateral disarmament. Everyone agrees that the forum for such a process is the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Most, though not all, of the key countries are Contracting Parties to the GATT. The GATT negotiations will certainly need to cover a wide range of commodities: cereals and rice, oil-seed, sugar, cotton, dairy products, beef and no doubt others.