The blue box includes all aid payments that are not subject to the Amber Reduction Agreement, as these are direct payments under a production limitation program. Almost all domestic support measures, considered (with a few exceptions) as a distortion of production and trade, are included in the amber box defined in Article 6 of the agricultural agreement as all domestic aid, with the exception of aid in the blue and green boxes. These include price support measures or subsidies directly related to production volumes. For new members who are transitional economies, the requirement is based on the state of their savings and on the implementation by new members of their obligations under their accession agreements. Some call for special and differentiated treatment on the basis of “objective criteria” such as level of development and per capita income, and argue that some “developing countries” are richer and have more developed agricultural sectors than some countries in transition. The CAP is also affected by land concessions granted to several multilateral and bilateral agreements under several multilateral and bilateral agreements, as well as unilateral exemptions granted under the Generalized Preference System (GSP). These preferential agreements explain the high level of EU agricultural imports from developing countries (3.2.10, Table VI). The 1947 GATT initially applied to agriculture, but was incomplete, and the signatory states (or “contracting parties”) excluded this sector from the scope of the principles set out in the general agreement. During the period 1947-1994, members were allowed to use export subsidies for primary agricultural products and to impose import restrictions under certain conditions, so that major agricultural raw materials faced trade barriers in unusual proportions in other sectors.
The road to a fair, market-oriented agricultural trade system has therefore been difficult and time-consuming; and the negotiations were finally concluded during the Uruguay Round. Agriculture has a special status in WTO agreements and trade agreements (signed in 1994 and entered into force on 1 January 1995), with the sector having a specific agreement, the agriculture agreement, whose provisions prevail.