The USTR cites U.S. participation in two trade agreements on raw materials: the International Tropical Woods Agreement and the International Coffee Agreement (ICA). These two agreements form intergovernmental organizations with boards of directors. In economics, a commodity is an economic good that has a total or essential fungibility: that is, the market treats the bodies of the good as equivalent or almost equivalent, no matter who produced them. It is generally accepted that international commodity agreements have expired because they have failed. The reality is more complex. The tin agreement collapsed, but for sugar and cocoa, unfavourable market conditions and lack of general support made stabilization in practice. Control of the coffee market has been largely interrupted due to differences of opinion between producing and producing countries on the distribution of benefits from higher prices. Overall, commodity control is part of an increasingly globalized and competitive world, and this perception has reduced the desire to resolve practical price stabilization challenges. The current pressure that favours agreements. Despite the serious drawbacks, the number of international commodity agreements has tended to increase and there is good reason to expect this trend to continue. On the one hand, the United States, through a series of moderate measures, has moved from doctrinal opposition to these agreements to one in which official policy, as President Kennedy says, “is poised to cooperate on a case-by-case review of commodity market problems.” Such agreements tend to be strongly favoured by less developed countries to “stabilize” (i.e. increase) the currencies they obtain from their main exports.
In Europe, international market-sharing agreements have been actively supported by the French authorities for more than a decade. The Federal Republic of Germany, the main importer of agricultural raw materials in the European Economic Community, supports the agreements as instruments for maintaining a place for foreign suppliers in the common market. For similar reasons, an agreement on cereals also received some scientific support (Coppock 1963). In addition, the United Kingdom, which until recently relied on a policy of cheap food imports and a programme of direct payments to its domestic agricultural producers, has begun to conclude a series of agreements with major foreign suppliers of cereals and meat in order to reduce the budgetary burden resulting from a combination of direct payments and unlimited domestic production. and unlimited imports.