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Agricultural trade : what matters in the Doha round ?

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  • Laborde, David
  • Martin, Will

Abstract

This survey concludes that including agriculture in the Doha Agenda negotiations was important both economically and politically, although the political resistance to reform is particularly strong in this sector. While agriculture accounts for less than 10 percent of merchandise trade, high and variable agricultural distortions appear to cause the majority of the cost of distortions to global merchandise trade. Within agriculture, most of the costs appear to arise from trade barriers levied on imports since these barriers tend to be high, variable across time and over products, and are levied by a wide range of countries. The negotiations faced a need for balance between discipline in reducing tariffs and hence creating the market access gains that are central to the negotiations, and flexibility in managing political pressures. While the approach of providing flexibility on a certain percentage of tariff lines is seriously flawed, the proposed Modalities still appear to provide worthwhile market access. Better ways appear to be needed to deal with developing countries'concerns about food price volatility while reducing the collective-action problems resulting from price insulation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6261.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6261

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Keywords: Agribusiness; Free Trade; Emerging Markets; Trade Policy; Economic Theory&Research;

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  1. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2006. "What do trade negotiators negotiate about? Empirical evidence from the World Trade Organization," Discussion Papers 0607-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott & Woan Foong Wong, 2010. "Figuring Out the Doha Round," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa91.
  4. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J. & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21180, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Sébastien Jean & David Laborde & Will Martin, 2011. "Formulas and Flexibility in Trade Negotiations: Sensitive Agricultural Products in the World Trade Organization's Doha Agenda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(3), pages 500-519, February.
  6. Baldwin, Robert E & Lage, Gerald M, 1971. "A Multilateral Model of Trade-Balancing Tariff Concessions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 53(3), pages 237-44, August.
  7. Diao, Xinshen & Somwaru, Agapi & Roe, Terry L., 2001. "A Global Analysis Of Agricultural Trade Reform In Wto Member Countries," Bulletins 12984, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  8. Anderson, Kym & Hoekman, Bernard & Strutt, Anna, 2001. "Agriculture and the WTO: Next Steps," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 192-214, May.
  9. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-65, December.
  10. Houssein Guimbard & David Laborde Debucquet & Cristina Mitaritonna, 2009. "A Picture of Tariff Protection Across the World in 2004 MAcMap-HS6, Version 2," Working Papers 2009-22, CEPII research center.
  11. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
  12. Christophe Gouel & Sébastien Jean, 2012. "Optimal Food Price Stabilization in a Small Open Developing Country," Working Papers 2012-01, CEPII research center.
  13. Will Martin & Patrick Messerlin, 2007. "Why is it so difficult? Trade liberalization under the Doha Agenda," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 347-366, Autumn.
  14. Bernard Hoekman, 2011. "Aid for Trade: Why, what and where are we?," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  15. Sébastien Jean & David Laborde & Will Martin, 2005. "Consequences of Alternative Formulas for Agricultural Tariff Cuts," Working Papers 2005-15, CEPII research center.
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