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Agricultural Exporters in a Protectionist World: Review and Policy Implications of Barriers Against Mercosur


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  • Julio J. Nogués


Worldwide, the Mercosur countries are probably the ones that face the most hostile trading system. Their strong comparative advantage in temperate agricultural and agro-industrial products make them particularly vulnerable to the irrationally high and variable agricultural protectionism cum subsidies that continues to distort this trade. In retrospect the paper argues that signing the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture was a kiss of death for the development prospects of these countries. Likewise, the continued expansion of regional policies and particularly that practiced by the EU, continues to reduce export earnings of Mercosur. The paper presents a selected survey of the literature as well as new estimates on these and other effects including the financial consequences that agricultural protectionism has on Mercosur; their ability to sustain and service their external debts. Based on the findings, the paper concludes with some policy suggestions which at best represent defensive opportunities. Nothing would boost more the development prospects of these countries than a comprehensive and ambitious multilateral agreement to reduce agricultural protectionism. Nevertheless given the highly protectionist stance of the US and EU, the prospects that this will materialize anytime soon are dim.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank in its series IDB Publications with number 9386.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:9386

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Keywords: Trade Facilitation; INTAL ITD Working Paper N° 16; INTAL; TLCAN; ALCA; Acceso a los Mercados; Unión Europea; MERCOSUR; Comercio; Integración Hemisférica;

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Cited by:
  1. Marcelo de Paiva Abreu, 2006. "The FTAA and the Political Economy of Protection in Brazil and the U.S," IDB Publications 9403, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Vito Tanzi, 2005. "Building regional infrastructure in Latin America," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 2642, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  3. Elsnit, 2005. "Second Annual Conference of the Euro-Latin Study Network on Integration and Trade, ELSNIT : Issues papers," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 2414, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  4. Eric T. Miller, 2005. "Achievements and challenges of trade capacity building : a practitioner's analysis of the CAFTA process and its lessons for the multilateral system," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 1268, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  5. Juan S. Blyde, 2006. "Assessing the impacts of intellectual property rights on trade flows in Latin America," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 1274, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  6. Robert Devlin & Ziga Vodusek, 2005. "Trade related capacity building : an overview in the context of Latin American trade policy and the MERCOSUR-EU association agreement," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 1262, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  7. Luis A. Arias & Alberto Barreix & Alexis Valencia & Luiz Villela, 2005. "The harmonization of indirect taxes in the Andean Community," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 2820, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  8. Manuel Orozco & Rachel Fedewa, 2007. "Leveraging efforts on remittances and financial intermediation," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 1448, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  9. Anneke Jessen & Christopher Vignoles, 2005. "Jamaica: trade, integration and the quest for growth," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 1264, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  10. Vito Tanzi, 2005. "The production and financing of regional public goods," INTAL Working Papers, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL 2824, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.


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