By Timothy E. Josling, Stefan Tangermann, T. K. Warley (auth.)
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Additional resources for Agriculture in the GATT
These were formed, and the Cereals Group held its first meeting in Geneva in February 1962. In the discussions at the sixteenth Session the previous November about what should be done about the agricultural protectionism documented in Committee II's reports, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs for France, M. Baumgartner, had aired a controversial plan for the organization of world trade in agricultural products. The 'Baumgartner Plan' (see Chapter 4) was one basis for discussion in the Cereals Group.
But whatever the legalities of US practice, the fact was that the leading advocate of trade liberalism was setting a bad example. Worse was to follow. As Eric Wyndham White (the Executive Secretary to the GATT in its first 21 years) had noted, although Article XI was 'largely tailor made to United States requirements ... the tailors cut the cloth too fine' (Dam, 1970, p. 260). Congress wanted to restrict agricultural imports still further in open violation of the GATT. Section 22 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act contained a major safeguard against the use of the power to restrict agricultural imports to contravene United States general commercial policy goals.
Or, if they were, that appropriate compensation was paid. Also, there was a desire to minimize the potential for trade diversion by persuading the Community to lower its CET so that the degree of economic preference would be reduced. Finally, in the broadest political terms, there was a need for the rest of the world to reshape its commercial relationships with this important new entity, in ways that would ensure that the Community's trade and other policies conformed to the precepts of a liberal international economic order.