According to experts, the WTO green basket is primarily aimed at curtailing national agricultural production (with simultaneous support for the development of non-agricultural activities).In general, the WTO’s “green basket” is part of a well-thought-out methodology, each item of which is subject to preconditions that prevent many states from hiding significant amounts of real support for national agricultural producers (ASC) in this permitted area.
In the Agreement on Agriculture, the formation and maintenance of the green basket is devoted to about a fifth of the text. Contracting parties did not even lose sight of the details, but many clauses of the Agreement, according to experts, still need to be specified in order to avoid misinterpretation (for example, clause 5 appendix 2 regarding the inclusion in the green basket of the part of direct payments to producers).
Below are specific criteria, a very brief summary of the content and structure of the green box (while retaining the main rubrication adopted in Appendix 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture, starting with paragraph 1).
- The main requirement for measures of the “green basket” is formulated in paragraph 1 of the appendix. 2 Agreements on agriculture: do not have or have the least adverse impact on trade or production. It further states that all measures for which an exemption is requested must meet the following basic criteria:
- (a) this support is provided on the basis of a government programfinanced from the state budget (including revenues unclaimed by the government), and not by transferring funds from consumers;
- (b) this support does notresult in the maintenance of producer prices.
Government programs for the provision of services are grouped into subgroups and presented in paragraphs 2–13 of annex. 2 of the Agreement. The following is their summary.
- General services:
- (a) research;
- (b) pest and disease control;
- (c) training services;
- (d) services for the dissemination of knowledge and experience and consulting services;
- (e) inspection services (including inspections and testing of individual products for health, safety, grading or standardization);
- (f) marketing and promotion services (including marketing information, consulting and promotion of specific products);
- (g) Infrastructure services whose facilities are intended for public use.
- The creation of state reserves to ensure food security of society.
- Domestic food assistance to the needy part of the population.
- Direct payments to producers (in accordance with certain criteria).
- “Unrelated” income support (i.e., support for producers’ income, notrelated and not based on types, volumes, prices and production factors).
- Financial participation of the government in insurance and income security programs (subject to certain requirements).
- Disaster relief payments.
- Promoting structural change through programs that encourage manufacturers to cease operations.
- Facilitating structural change through resource cessation programs.
- Facilitating structural change through investment incentives (according to certain criteria).
- Payments for environmental protection programs.
- Payments for regional assistance programs. ( The right tosuch payments is granted only to producers in unfavorable regions, defined by law on clearly defined criteria ).
The content of each of the above points, set forth in the Agreement on Agriculture, is not unambiguous, furnished by the WTO with a number of conditions (restrictions) and needs full legal understanding..