In principle, all WTO agreements and arrangements on trade in goods apply to agriculture, including GATT 1994 and WTO agreements on issues such as customs valuation, import certificate procedures, preshipment inspections, early protection measures, subsidies and technical barriers to trade. However, in the event of a conflict between these agreements and the Convention on Agriculture, priority shall be given to the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture. Wto agreements on trade in services and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights also apply to agriculture. WTO members have taken steps to reform the agricultural sector and tackle high subsidies and trade barriers that distort agricultural trade. The overall goal is to create a fairer trading system that improves market access and improves the livelihoods of farmers around the world. The WTO Agreement on Agriculture, which entered into force in 1995, is an important step in reforming agricultural trade and making it fairer and more competitive. The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development monitors the implementation of the agreement. The CAP is also affected by agricultural concessions granted to a large number of countries under several multilateral and bilateral agreements, as well as unilateral derogations granted under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). These preferential agreements explain the high level of EU agricultural imports from developing countries (3.2.10, Table VI). While the volume of world agricultural exports has increased significantly in recent decades, its growth rate is lower than that of industry, which has led to a steady decline in the share of agriculture in world trade. In 1998, taking into account trade in services, agricultural trade accounted for 10.5% of total merchandise trade and agriculture`s share of world exports fell to 8.5%. However, in world trade, agriculture remains ahead of sectors such as mining, automotive, chemicals, textiles and clothing, or iron and steel.

Among the agricultural products traded internationally, foodstuffs account for almost 80% of the total. The other main category of agricultural products is the raw material. Since the mid-1980s, trade in processed agricultural products and other quality agricultural products has grown much faster than trade in primary commodities such as cereals. At the WTO Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia, in 2013, ministers also agreed on a range of agricultural issues. . . .