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Is ‘NAFTA Plus’ an Option in the North American Agrifood Sector?

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  • Karl Meilke
  • James Rude
  • Steven Zahniser

Abstract

With the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) nearly complete, there are concerns that the easy gains in efficiency have been achieved and that additional steps towards the economic integration of the member countries are required. This poses a distinct challenge to the NAFTA governments, since the agreement did not create trinational institutions with the supranational authority to facilitate the deepening of the new trading environment. In any initiative to further the economic integration of the NAFTA countries, agriculture will be a difficult sector in which to make progress. However, at an aggregate level, the support provided directly to agricultural producers by the NAFTA governments is similar, as are tariffs at an aggregate level. All three countries have devised income support programmes that contain a countercyclical element. In each of these areas, as well as in the operation of ‘green box’ programmes that are consistent with the member countries’ obligations to the World Trade Organization, cooperation and consultation among the NAFTA members would seem crucial if they are to achieve greater integration in the agrifood sector. This article examines the opportunities and challenges facing the NAFTA members as they seek further integration in the agrifood sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Meilke & James Rude & Steven Zahniser, 2008. "Is ‘NAFTA Plus’ an Option in the North American Agrifood Sector?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(7), pages 925-946, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:31:y:2008:i:7:p:925-946
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9701.2008.01109.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9701.2008.01109.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brink, Lars, 2005. "WTO 2004 Agriculture Framework: Disciplines on Distorting Domestic Support," Working Papers 14587, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    2. David H. Sparling & Julie A. Caswell, 2006. "Risking Market Integration without Regulatory Integration: The Case of NAFTA and BSE," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 212-228.
    3. Richard E. Baldwin, 2011. "Multilateralising Regionalism: Spaghetti Bowls as Building Blocks on the Path to Global Free Trade," Chapters, in: Miroslav N. Jovanović (ed.),International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume I, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott, 2005. "NAFTA Revisited: Achievements and Challenges," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 332, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patrick Georges, 2012. "Trade Diversification Away from the U.S. or North American Customs Union? A Review of Canada’s Trade Policy Options," Working Papers 1205E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    2. Zahniser, Steven & Moreno, Adriana Herrera, 2014. "North American Agricultural Trade Policy: Are Super-Regionalism and Deeper Regional Integration the "Next Big Thing" after NAFTA," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 15(2), pages 1-33.
    3. Patrick Georges, 2009. "Dispensing with NAFTA Rules of Origin? Some Policy Options for Canada," Working Papers 0904E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    4. Jason H. Grant, 2013. "Is the growth of regionalism as significant as the headlines suggest? Lessons from agricultural trade," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 93-109, January.
    5. Whalley, John, 2013. "Regional Agreements: A Stocktaking Based on WTO Notifications," Commissioned Papers 156228, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.

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