European Communities – blue box (G/AG/NG/W/17) The blue box was the result of a political compromise reached in order to prevent negotiations in the agricultural sector from stagnating during the Uruguay Round. We therefore see the blue box as a transitional support instrument which should be eliminated as a result of the current negotiations.
It is surprising to hear claims, based on vague arguments from a report with restricted circulation, that blue box measures do not have a distorting effect on production and trade, when the support given by the only two WTO Members to use such measures accounts for between 22 and 35 per cent of total domestic support for their agriculture.
It is of fundamental importance for the developing countries that the blue box should be abolished. As long as it remains, it will perpetuate the existing injustices in the Agreement on Agriculture while at the same time allowing this type of support to continue distorting the agricultural sector by not subjecting it to the disciplines and reduction commitments that would lead to its elimination.
We therefore reiterate the arguments of the Cairns Group in its domestic support proposal by calling for the abolition of the blue box as part of the process of eliminating all forms of support which have a distorting effect on production and trade.