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The consequences of agricultural trade liberalization for developing countries: distinguishing between genuine benefits and false hopes

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  • Jean-Christophe Bureau
  • Sébastien Jean, Alan Matthews

Abstract

Recent analyses suggest that the impact of agricultural trade liberalization on developing countries will be very uneven. Some simulations suggest that the effects of agricultural trade liberalization will be small, overall, and are likely to be negative for a significant number of developing countries. The Doha Round focuses on tariff issues, but these countries currently have practically duty-free access to European and North American markets under preferential regimes. Multilateral liberalization will erode the benefits of these preferences, which are presently rather well utilized in the agricultural sector. The main obstacles to the exports of sub-Saharan African and least developed countries appear to be in the non-tariff area (sanitary, phytosanitary standards) which increasingly originate from the private sector and are not dealt with under the Doha framework (traceability requirements, etc.). An agreement in Doha is unlikely to solve these problems and open large markets for the poorest countries. It might even increase their handicap relative to developing countries that are more advanced from a technical and commercial standpoint. While this is not an argument to give up multilateral liberalization, a more specific and differentiated treatment should be considered in WTO rules, and corrective measures should be implemented.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp073.

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Date of creation: 20 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp073

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Keywords: Agricultural Trade; Liberalization; WTO;

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  1. Lionel Fontagné & Thierry Mayer & Soledad Zignago, 2005. "Trade in the Triad: how easy is the access to large markets?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1401-1430, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Bureau, Jean-Christophe & Jean, Sebastien & Matthews, Alan, 2005. "Concessions and Exemptions for Developing Countries in the Agricultural Negotiations: The Role of the Special and Differential Treatment," Working Papers 18858, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
  2. Maria Berrittella & Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol & Jian Zhang, 2007. "The Impact Of Trade Liberalisation On Water Use: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Working Papers FNU-142, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Aug 2007.
  3. Uttam Kumar Deb, 2006. "Rules of Origin and Non-Tariff Barriers in Agricultural Trade: Perspectives from Bangladesh and Cambodia," Working Papers 1206, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
  4. Antimiani, Alessandro & Salvatici, Luca, 2007. "EU Trade Policies: Benchmarking Protection in a General Equilibrium Framework," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp07034, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.
  5. Antimiani, Alessandro & Conforti, Piero & Salvatici, Luca, 2006. "Assessing Market Access: Do Developing Countries Really Get a Preferential Treatment?," Working Papers 18870, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
  6. Zahrnt, Valentin, 2008. "Reforming the EU's Common Agricultural Policy: Health Check, Budget Review, Doha Round," ECIPE Policy Briefs 47838, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE).
  7. Alessandro Antimiani & Piero Conforti & Luca Salvatici, 2008. "Measuring Restrictiveness of Bilateral Trade Policies: A Comparison between Developed and Developing Countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(2), pages 207-224, July.
  8. DeMaria, Federica & Drogue, Sophie & Matthews, Alan, 2008. "Agro-Food Preferences in the EU's GSP Scheme: An Analysis of Changes between 2004 and 2006," Working Papers 6151, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
  9. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2014. "Agricultural Exports, Tariffs and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4583, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Alan Matthews & Hannah Chaplin & Thomas Giblin & Marian Mraz, 2007. "Strengthening Policy Coherence for Development in Agricultural Policy: Policy Recommendations to Irish Aid," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp188, IIIS.
  11. Mia Mikic, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Liberalization: Time to Close Windows of Exception," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, in: Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Review, volume 2, chapter 4, pages 71-91 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  12. Jean-Christophe Bureau & Louis-Pascal Mahé, 2009. "Cap Payments after 2013 and Rural Public Goods," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 4, December.
  13. Nyhodo, Bonani & Punt, Cecilia & Vink, Nick, 2009. "The potential impact of the Doha Development Agenda on the South African economy: liberalising OECD agriculture and food trade," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 48(1), March.
  14. Alan Matthews & Tom Giblin, 2006. "Policy Coherence, Agriculture and Development," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp112, IIIS.
  15. Alan Matthews & Jean-Christophe Bureau, 2005. "EU Agricultural Policy: What Developing Countries Need to Know," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp91, IIIS.

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