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Triggers, Remedies, and Tariff Cuts: Assessing the Impact of a Special Safeguard Mechanism for Developing Countries


  • Grant, Jason H.
  • Meilke, Karl D.


The WTO negotiations broke down on July 30th, 2008 because members could not bridge their differences over the operation of a Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM). This article evaluates the latest SSM proposal using the world wheat market as our case study. Whether low-income WTO members should be allowed to breach their pre-Doha bound tariffs is a key element of our analysis. The SSM leads to sizeable additional duties but is not very trade distorting, even when pre-Doha bound rates are breached. Moreover, the extent to which low-income countries should be allowed to exceed pre-Doha bound rates depends heavily on the product under consideration, the ambition of the tariff cutting exercise, and the gap between members’ bound and applied tariffs.

Suggested Citation

  • Grant, Jason H. & Meilke, Karl D., 2009. "Triggers, Remedies, and Tariff Cuts: Assessing the Impact of a Special Safeguard Mechanism for Developing Countries," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 10(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ecjilt:50103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vald S, Alberto & Foster, William, 2003. "Special safeguards for developing country agriculture: a proposal for WTO negotiations," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 5-31, March.
    2. Jason H. Grant & Karl D. Meilke, 2006. "The World Trade Organization Special Safeguard Mechanism: A Case Study of Wheat," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(1), pages 24-47.
    3. Somwaru, Agapi & Skully, David W., 2005. "Will Special Agricultural Safeguards Advance or Retard LDC Growth and Welfare? A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19533, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    Cited by:

    1. Hertel, Thomas W. & Martin, William J. & Leister, Amanda M., 2010. "Potential Implications of a Special Safeguard Mechanism in the WTO: the Case of Wheat," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61000, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Countryman, Amanda M. & Narayanan, Badri G., 2017. "Price volatility, tariff structure and the special safeguard mechanism," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 399-408.
    3. Gouel, Christophe & Mitaritonna, Cristina & Ramos, Maria Priscila, 2011. "Sensitive products in the Doha negotiations: The case of European and Japanese market access," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2395-2403.
    4. Maros Ivanic & Will Martin, 2014. "Poverty impacts of the volume-based special safeguard mechanism," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 58(4), pages 607-621, October.
    5. Will Martin, 2017. "Agricultural Trade and Food Security," Policy notes & Policy briefs 1744, OCP Policy Center.
    6. Peyton M Ferrier & Amanda M Leister, 2011. "Trigger Points of the Special Safeguard Mechanism," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 3211-3220.
    7. Donald MacLaren, 2014. "The Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) and Tariffs: Price Behaviour with Imperfectly Competitive Market Intermediaries," CESifo Working Paper Series 4585, CESifo Group Munich.


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