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An analysis of Export Restriction Rules and Proposals under the WTO

This memorandum is a redacted version of a confidential research paper on export restriction negotiations under the auspices of World Trade Organization (WTO). The complete version of this paper has two components: the first is a sketch of the existing legal framework and negotiation proposals on export restriction; the second is the provision of negotiation proposals. Due to confidentiality considerations, only the first component of analysis is publicly available and presented here. This memorandum is organized in three parts. The first part elaborates on the most relevant WTO treaties, namely the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT) and the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). We discuss how the ambiguity of terms in these provisions poses challenges to effective disciplines on export restriction. Second, we analyze proposals from several WTO Members that seek to clarify the ambiguities or fill the void in the existing discipline. Third, we discuss regional trade treaties, including TTIP, CETA, and TTP, along with other less prominent WTO agreements.

Clinic: Qatar University

Executive Summary


This memorandum is a redacted version of a confidential research paper on export restriction negotiations under the auspices of World Trade Organization (WTO). The complete version of this paper has two components: the first is a sketch of the existing legal framework and negotiation proposals on export restriction; the second is the provision of negotiation proposals. Due to confidentiality considerations, only the first component of analysis is publicly available and presented here.


This memorandum is organized in three parts. The first part elaborates on the most relevant WTO treaties, namely the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT) and the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA). We discuss how the ambiguity of terms in these provisions poses challenges to effective disciplines on export restriction. Second, we analyze proposals from several WTO Members that seek to clarify the ambiguities or fill the void in the existing discipline. Third, we discuss regional trade treaties, including TTIP, CETA, and TTP, along with other less prominent WTO agreements.


The WTO Framework:

In this section, we discuss the most relevant WTO Covered Agreements in relation to food security: GATT and AoA.


GATT Article XI