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The Art of Exceptions: Sensitive Products in the Doha Negotiations

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  • Christophe Gouel
  • Cristina Mitaritonna
  • Maria Priscila Ramos

Abstract

It is necessary for multilateral trade negotiations to include exceptions to accommodate politically sensitive sectors. However, given the highly concentrated distribution of agricultural protection, too many exceptions put at risk the objectives of World Trade Organization. This paper assesses the delicate balance required, based on the case of agricultural trade protection in Europe and Japan, two countries where tariff dismantling in the agricultural sector is a particularly sensitive issue. Since agricultural border protection is heterogeneous, we avoid aggregation bias by extending a multi-country computable general equilibrium model to the product level. This allows us to combine the assets from general equilibrium and partial equilibrium modeling, and to take explicit account of interdependencies and trade policies. The results suggest that consideration of sensitive products strongly limits the potential gains from a possible agriculture agreement at Doha. Moreover, there is no aggregate trade-off between decreasing tariffs and increasing/opening quotas. To achieve “substantial” market access improvements in the agricultural sector, the objective should be most favored nation tariff reduction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2010-20.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-20

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Keywords: Agricultural trade; Doha development agenda; CGE model; Disaggregation; Sensitive products; Tariff-rate quotas;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Listorti, Giulia & Kempen, Markus & Girardin, Jean & Kranzlein, Tim, 2011. "Do Price Uncertainties Affect the Use of Policy Flexibilities? The Selection of Sensitive Products in WTO Agricultural Negotiations," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland, European Association of Agricultural Economists 114381, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné, 2013. "What Did Happen in the DDA? Quantifying the Role of Negotiation Modalities," Working Papers, CEPII research center 2013-38, CEPII research center.
  3. Listorti, Giulia & Tonini, Axel & Kempen, Makus & Adenauer, Marcel, 2013. "How to Implement WTO Scenarios in Simulation Models: Linking the TRIMAG Tariff Aggregation Tool to Capri," 135th Seminar, August 28-30, 2013, Belgrade, Serbia, European Association of Agricultural Economists 160388, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné, 2011. "Economic Impact of Potential Outcome of the DDA," Working Papers, CEPII research center 2011-23, CEPII research center.

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