The joint statement from presidents Jair Bolsonaro and Donald Trump on March 19, 2019, expresses that Brazil will begin to forgo special and differential treatment (SDT) in World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations.
The announcement does not constitute any change or reduction in existing flexibility with respect to some provisions of current WTO agreements.
This flexibility, which resulted from extensive negotiations in the past and will not be subject to further discussions, changes according to the agreements and level of development of different groups of countries. Some examples include: the Agreement on Safeguards, under which developing countries are exempt from the safeguard measures applied by trading partners, depending on their level of exports; the Agreement on Agriculture, under which countries are allowed to have exemptions to reduction commitments on a higher percentage of domestic support; the TRIPS Agreement (on intellectual property), under which developing countries were given an extended transition period (which has ended) to implement commitments currently applicable to all WTO members; and the Trade Facilitation Agreement, under which those countries were able to combine compliance to deadlines and receipt of technical assistance. These and all other benefits established in the agreements in effect are fully maintained.
The variety of STD measures and the fact that some of them were only valid for a certain period proves that STD is dynamic and evolutionary.