Green But Not Clean

Why a comprehensive review of Green Box subsidies is necessary

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Published: 16 November 2005

Green Box subsidies, by definition of the World Trade Organization (WTO), are not allowed to distort trade. This is why, under the terms of the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), countries may provide as many Green Box subsidies as they like. ActionAid, CIDSE, and Oxfam believe, as this briefing note will show, that the EU and the USA are using this provision to continue to give support that is manifestly trade-distorting, thereby causing serious damage to farmers in developing countries. At least $40bn of Green Box payments annually are likely to be trade-distorting and therefore break WTO rules.