Analytical Note, November 2009

The Volume-based Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM): Analysis of the Conditionalities in the December 2008 WTO Agriculture Chair’s Texts.

This paper examines the conditionalities and their implications for the effectiveness of the volume-based SSM in the December 2008 Agriculture Chair’s Modalities. These conditionalities include the trigger level; limits on the remedies and remedy caps; limits on the number of tariff lines that can go beyond the Uruguay Round bound rates; the cross-check; ‘on/off’ periods of SSM application; treatment for seasonal and perishable products; exclusion of preferential trade from SSM coverage; exclusion of negligible trade; and pro-rating clauses in calculating the preceding 3-year volume imports.

The paper then makes recommendations on how these clauses can be changed so that the SSM can be a more effective instrument for developing countries.

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