Liberalizing Trade in Agriculture and Food Security–Mission Impossible?
The Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) foresees that trade should be conducted with a view to raising standards of living. It is undisputed that raising living standards contributes to the implementation of the right to food. Indeed, state parties to the WTO have obligations regarding the right to food not only under the international trade system, but also under the human rights regime. All WTO state parties are bound by customary human rights law, and most have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, of which Article 11 contains the most important codification of the right to food. This Article analyzes the structural similarities between the legal regimes for trade and human rights. It concludes that the tools necessary to reconcile some of the potential conflicts between the two regimes are already built into the agreements. Building on this conclusion, this Article analyzes proposals on how to better implement food security in the current negotiations on agriculture.