A Special Product (SP) is an agricultural product “out of the WTO” in that they are not subject to tariff reductions, i. e. Countries can keep the right to maintain protective tariffs on certain agricultural products that are essential for food security, rural development, and farmers’ livelihoods. The G33 proposal is for 10% of developing country products to be exempt from tariff reductions, with an additional 10% of product lines to have limited tariff reductions. This would be somewhere in the range of 300 products. The US counter-proposal is for a mere 5 products! Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) means that if there is an import surge, countries have the right to increase protective tariffs. Why are SP and SSM important in the WTO negotiations? The issue of Special Products and Special Safeguard Mechanism (SP/SSM) is a key issue in the current Doha Round of negotiations. The SP/SSM seems to be one of few issues that developing countries are quite strong on, and that the US is strongly opposed to, meaning that if the developing countries (G33) stay strong in defense of SP/SSM, it could keep the Round deadlocked. If the Round goes through, then SP and SSM are measures to protect farmers from further damage from WTO rules.
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AsiaDHRRA traces its earliest roots to the 1974 Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia Workshop (DHRRAW) held in Thailand. It is a regional partnership of eleven (11) social development networks and organizations in eleven (11) Asian nations that envisions Asian rural communities that are just, free, prosperous, living in peace and working in solidarity towards self-reliance. To achieve this, the network’s mission is to be an effective