Agricultural Subsidies in the WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence with Sustainable Development Goals

Date period
14 October 2009

SummaryCurrent WTO requirements set no ceiling on the amount of green box subsidies that governments can provide, on the basis that these payments cause only minimal trade distortion. Governments are thus increasingly shifting their subsidy spending into this category, as they come under pressure to reduce subsidies that are more directly linked to production. However, growing evidence suggests that green box payments can affect production and trade, harm farmers in developing countries and cause environmental damage.

This information note summarises some of the findings of the forthcoming ICTSD book “Agricultural Subsidies in the WTO Green Box: Ensuring Coherence with Sustainable Development Goals”, eds. Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Christophe Bellmann and Jonathan Hepburn. For further information about this publication, please visit:

http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521519694