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The Developmental Relevance of Tariff Rate Quotas as a Market Access Instrument: An Analysis of Swiss Agricultural Imports

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  • Khorana, Sangeeta

Abstract

At present there are 1425 tariff rate quotas (TRQs) notified by member countries to the World Trade Organization. TRQs were provided for in the Uruguay Round as a trade policy instrument to guarantee minimum market access for politically sensitive agricultural imports, and in some cases to continue managed trade regimes. This article evaluates the developmental relevance of TRQs and discusses how the various methods TRQ administration methods influence market access in Switzerland for agricultural products from developing countries. The findings show that existing TRQ management in Switzerland is complicated and lacks transparency. Further, the manner in which TRQs are administered results in high transaction costs, a situation that fails to liberate trade opportunities from rents and influences trade flows of the partner countries. Proposed reforms are establishment of a more efficient administrative mechanism, modalities to liberalize trade with TRQs through reduction of out-of-quota tariffs, and capacity building in developing countries; such reforms would maximize market access opportunities from a development perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Khorana, Sangeeta, 2008. "The Developmental Relevance of Tariff Rate Quotas as a Market Access Instrument: An Analysis of Swiss Agricultural Imports," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 9(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ecjilt:37966
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/37966
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John C. Beghin & Ataman Aksoy, 2003. "Agricultural Trade and the Doha Round: Lessons from Commodity Studies," Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Publications 03-bp42, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at Iowa State University.
    2. Abbott, Philip C. & Paarlberg, Philip L., 1998. "Tariff rate quotas: structural and stability impacts in growing markets," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 19(3), December.
    3. David Vanzetti & Santiago Fernandez de Córdoba & Veronica Chau, 2005. "Banana Split: How Eu Policies Divide Global Producers," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 31, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    4. Bureau, Jean-Christophe & Tangermann, Stefan, 2000. "Tariff Rate Quotas In The Eu," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 29(1), April.
    5. Arvind Panagariya, 2002. "Developing Countries at Doha: A Political Economy Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9), pages 1205-1233, September.
    6. Abbott, Philip C. & Paarlberg, Philip L., 1998. "Tariff rate quotas: structural and stability impacts in growing markets," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 257-267, December.
    7. Merlinda D. Ingco, 1996. "Tariffication in the Uruguay Round: How Much Liberalisation?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 425-446, July.
    8. Philip C. Abbott, 2002. "Tariff-rate quotas: failed market access instruments?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 109-130, March.
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