The blue box includes all aid payments that are not subject to the Amber Reduction Agreement, as these are direct payments under a production limitation program. The agreement has been criticized by NGOs that categorize subsidies into trade-distorting national subsidies (the “amber box”) that need to be reduced, not trade-distorting subsidies (blue and green boxes) that can escape discipline and therefore be increased. While efficient agricultural exporters are pushing WTO members to reduce their support for the “amber box” and the “blue box” that distorts trade, green box spending in industrialized countries has increased. Export subsidies are the third pillar. The 1995 agricultural agreement required industrialized countries to reduce export subsidies by at least 36% (in value terms) or by 21% (by volume) over a six-year value. For developing countries, the agreement called for reductions of 24% (in value) and 14% (in volume) over ten years. In the 1980s, public payments to agricultural producers in industrialized countries generated large crop surpluses, which were unloaded by export subsidies on the world market, causing food prices to fall. Tax pressure on safeguards has increased, due to both lower import duty revenues and increased domestic spending. Meanwhile, the global economy has entered a cycle of recession and the perception that market opening could improve economic conditions has led to calls for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations.  The cycle would open up markets for high-tech services and goods and ultimately generate much-needed efficiency gains. To engage developing countries, many of which were new international disciplines, agriculture, textiles and clothing were added to the big deal.  For the first time, the most recent figures would place the EU`s overall aid distorting trade below the proposed new ceiling of EUR 22 billion, which would be set by a Doha agreement under the conditions currently under consideration by the WTO.
The Doha agreement would create a new subsidy cap that would limit the total amount of amber, blue and de minimis aid that countries are allowed to provide. The CAP is also affected by land concessions granted to several multilateral and bilateral agreements under several multilateral and bilateral agreements, as well as unilateral exemptions granted under the Generalized Preference System (GSP).