But it is only recently that this change has become at the heart of the reform of the global agricultural system.  Until the 1980s, public payments to agricultural producers in developed countries had resulted in large crop surpluses, dumped on the world market through export subsidies and lowering food prices. The tax burden related to safeguard measures has increased, both due to lower revenues from import duties and higher domestic expenditures. Meanwhile, the global economy had entered a cycle of recession and the perception that open markets could improve economic conditions led to calls for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.  The round would open markets for high-tech services and goods and, ultimately, lead to much-needed efficiencies. To engage developing countries, many of which were “applicants” for new international disciplines, agriculture, textiles and clothing were added to the big deal.  In view of the problems highlighted in Consumers International`s country case studies, the AoA should be amended in order to broaden and protect consumer interests. This can be done through: non-trade issues: these include issues such as consumer interests, livelihoods and the environment. The proposals range from the creation of a specific development box to the modification of the agreement to take into account the different advantages of agriculture. The government`s different positions on the WTO agricultural negotiations were expressed in a series of official proposals from 2000 and 2001. A section of these government proposals is summarized here.
The proposals of the WTO Africa Group, a development group (composed of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Kenya, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Zimbabwe), as well as separate proposals from Mali, Kenya and India, all have a similar agenda. They are presented here as proposals for developing countries, with specific references where different approaches stand out. .