Challenges in quantitative economic analysis in support of multilateral trade negotiations
A wide range of economic analysis of agricultural trade liberalization was performed prior to and during the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. Views differ as to the effectiveness of this research, although most would agree that it became less relevant as the negotiations progressed. This paper reviews the contributions of economists to the trade liberalization debate, with an emphasis on the quantitative assessment of multilateral agricultural trade liberalization. With a new round of agricultural trade negotiations scheduled to begin in 1999 it is crucial that the quantitative work required to support these negotiations begin in the near future. The authors conclude that the Uruguay Round outcome provides numerous challenges and opportunities in analyzing the traditional agenda of agricultural trade liberalization. In addition, new issues will be added to the agenda of the next round of negotiations. These include: trade and the environment, competition policy and intellectual property rights. It is important that economists begin to develop a research agenda that can address these issues and become activists in addressing these topics in public forums.
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