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As far back as Ricardo's principle of comparative advantage - from which all trade liberalization theory ultimately derives - it has been customary to treat agriculture as the general exception to trade rules. Nations protect their agricultural trade in a variety of ways: through the limited quantitative restrictions and export quotas permitted under prevailing trade rules; through country-specific derogation in the form of waivers; or even through blatant violations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). In fact, despite the general dramatic decline in tariffs in recent decades, the level of effective protection against the flow of agricultural trade has been steadily rising, almost entirely at the behest of developed countries and to the detriment of developing countries.;This book analyzes the realities and future prospects for global trade in agricultural products. It seeks to explain the real or apparent rationale behind the virtual exemption of agricultural trade from the operation of the law governing international trade in general, focusing on the GATT/WTO system but examining a variety of nation-source policy reasons that generate this crucial counter-current to the general sweep of trade liberalization.;The issues and topics that arise in the course of the discussion include the following: the ""tariffication"" of non-tariff barriers under the Agriculture Agreement; export subsidies under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures; remedies available against prohibited subsidies; relevant WTO cases, especially FSC and Canada Dairy, as well as earlier GATT jurisprudence; ""downstream flexibility"" exceptions; the concept of ""domestic support""; methods used to reduce Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS); and, relevant non-trade concerns, for example, environment; poverty alleviation; food safety; and animal welfare.;Professionals interested in the effective and equitable development of international trade, as well as officials involved in trade or agricultural regulation at any administrative level, should find both informed insight into present and future concerns and realistic assessment of a critical area of global policy in this book.