Putting international trade in agricultural products at the service of food security

François Collart Dutilleul 1
1 Programme ERC Lascaux
IRDP - Institut de recherche en droit privé
Abstract : During the Second World War, President Roosevelt organised three important international conferences designed to form the basis for building a peaceful world. According to him, a peaceful future would be conditioned upon the resolve to treat neither money, labour nor nature as commercial goods. Thus, some time before the conferences of Bretton Woods and Philadelphia, the Hot Springs conference on agriculture and food took place, with the aim of answering the question of how to imagine the post-war world so that each country would be able to develop its agriculture and feed its population. It was at Hot Springs that the creation of the FAO and of an organisation for international trade was decided. For Roosevelt, such an organisation presupposed that agricultural products would not be the object of a system of pure, untrammelled free trade. He therefore initiated the negotiation of an international charter with the aim of creating, within the U.N., an international organisation for trade and laying down rules governing the globalisation of commerce. The negotiation took place after his death and culminated in the signing of the Havana Charter in March 1948 by 53 countries. But since the United States did not ratify it, because of opposition in Congress to Roosevelt’s successor President Truman, the other countries did not see the point of doing so either. Nevertheless, part of this Charter had already been implemented as early as autumn 1947, outside the U.N., by the 23 richest countries because they wanted to re-launch world trade without delay. This part of the Charter was given the name GATT. Now GATT was supposed to disappear the moment the whole of the Havana Charter was ratified. We know what became of that, however.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 5:51:59 PM
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François Collart Dutilleul. Putting international trade in agricultural products at the service of food security. Penser une démocratie alimentaire Volume II – Proposition Lascaux entre ressources naturelles et besoins fondamentaux, 2014, 9782918382096. ⟨hal-01084236⟩



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