The Uruguay Round Agreement

Subject to certain exceptions, the general rule that the obligations set out in the Agreement apply to both existing and new intellectual property rights. The protection and support of agribusiness began wholeheartedly during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Not only have tariffs been increased with most other imported products, but a number of price and income support programs have also been implemented in many countries. During the negotiation of the first GATT agreement, specific derogations were introduced for agriculture, including aid for the use of export subsidies. It should be recalled that export subsidies are subject to retaliation under the Anti-Subsidy Law, but this requirement has been denied for agricultural products. This has enabled countries to keep agricultural prices high on the domestic market and, if these prices generate a food surplus, to dereduce this surplus through export subsidies on international markets. The WTO is chaired by a Ministerial Conference which meets at least every two years, with, where appropriate, a meeting of the General Council. The Ministerial Conference is composed of representatives of all WTO members and can take decisions on all matters under one of the multilateral trade agreements. Part III of the Agreement sets out the obligations of member governments to provide procedures and remedies in accordance with their domestic law to ensure that intellectual property rights can be effectively respected, both by foreign right holders and by their own nationals. Procedures should allow effective measures to be taken against infringements of intellectual property rights, but should be fair and equitable, not unnecessarily complicated or costly and should not lead to undue delays or unjustified delays. They should allow for judicial review of final administrative decisions. There is no obligation to create a judicial system that is generally separate from the application of legislation or to give priority to the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the allocation of resources or personnel. All restrictions on the MFA in force on 31 December 1994 would be taken over and maintained in the new agreement until the restrictions are lifted or the products are incorporated into the GATT.

For products that remain limited at any stage, the agreement establishes a formula to increase existing growth rates. Thus, annual growth during phase 1 and for each restriction previously provided for under the bilateral agreements on MFAs in force in 1994 should not be less than 16% of the growth rate set for the previous MFA limitation. For Phase 2 (1998 to 2001 inclusive), annual growth rates are expected to be 25% higher than Level 1 rates. For Phase 3 (2002-2004 inclusive), annual growth rates are expected to be 27% higher than for Phase 2. The GATT dispute settlement system is generally regarded as one of the cornerstones of the multilateral trade order. The system has already been strengthened and streamlined by reforms that are reflected in the note. . .

.