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Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Agriculture: Commitments, Cooperation and Conflicts


  • Kerr, William A.
  • Hall, Shannon L.


With regard to international organisations, agricultural economists have tended to focus their attention on the World Trade Organisation. There is a good reason for this – WTO negotiations determine, to a considerable degree, the international constraints on the imposition of barriers to market access, the subsidisation of exports and the subsidisation of domestic production. Most governments, however, have made a wide range of additional international commitments that have implications for trade and domestic policy making in agriculture through the negotiation of a large number of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) such as the Kyoto Protocol, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Biosafety Protocol (BSP). These have received much less attention from agricultural economists, yet may considerably influence the direction of agricultural policy development and, at times, fundamentally conflict with WTO commitments. This article provides a brief examination of the current international commitments contained in MEAs, how this international cooperation will influence the development of agricultural policies and where conflicts with the WTO are likely to arise.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerr, William A. & Hall, Shannon L., 2004. "Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Agriculture: Commitments, Cooperation and Conflicts," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 05.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cafric:45737

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Linda K. Lee, 1998. "Groundwater Quality and Farm Income: What Have We Learned?," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 168-185.
    2. William Lin & G. W. Dean & C. V. Moore, 1974. "An Empirical Test of Utility vs. Profit Maximization in Agricultural Production," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 56(3), pages 497-508.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Viju, Crina & Yeung, May T. & Kerr, William A., 2011. "Post-Moratorium EU Regulation of Genetically Modified Products: Trade Concerns," Commissioned Papers 116848, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
    2. Kerr, William A. & Hobbs, Jill E., 2012. "Busy Bees, Zero Tolerance, Foregone Trade and Inhibited Investment: Can the Global Divide Over GM Foods Be Bridged?," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125161, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Kerr, William A., 2015. "Governance of International Trade in Genetically Modified Organisms: Is Future Global Food Security at Risk?," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 16(2).


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