Where is the balance? Implications of adopting Special Products and Sensitive Products in Doha negotiations for world and China's agriculture
This paper analyzes the potential impacts of the agreements of Special Products and Sensitive Products (SPs) in Doha negotiations on world and China's Agriculture. By linking a global trade model to a national policy model which itself is connected to a set of disaggregated household data, we are able to assess the effects of the inclusion of SPs into a Doha agreement on agriculture in China and the rest of the world and different farmers across China. Our results show that since the inclusion of SPs in a Doha agreement adds more protection in agriculture, the total quantity of resources used in world agriculture increases. Although increasing, it is important to note that the total rise is only a fraction of a percent of agricultural value added and the gains to rural income per capita are likewise small. Moreover, an important difference between the apparent benefits of SPs is highlighted when they are considered for one country alone and when they are made available to all WTO members. The benefits to agriculture in China (and other countries) from increases in protection resulting from SPs are typically offset when these flexibilities are made available to all countries. While there are some positive benefits for certain vulnerable groups in society (in China), we show that there are adverse effects on equity and the impacts differ largely among regions.
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