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WTO and Agricultural Trade – Some Issues and Perspectives


  • Ravinder Rena

    (Papua New Guinea University of Technology, Private Mail Bag, Lae 411, Morobe Province, PAPUA NEW GUINEA.)


In the Uruguay Round Agreement, the rules governing agricultural trade were changed fundamentally. Members have agreed to convert all non-tariff agricultural barriers (NTBs) to ordinary tariffs, to bind all agricultural tariffs, and to subject them to reductions. Members have also agreed to establish tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) to preserve historical trade levels and to create some new trade opportunities in highly protected markets. Some reductions in agricultural tariffs also were achieved. Nonetheless, agricultural tariffs remain to be very high for some politically sensitive products in some developing countries, limiting the trade benefits from the new rules. The failure of trade negotiators, who met at Geneva to narrow their differences on the modalities of compiling detailed cuts in tariffs and agricultural subsidies, is no doubt a setback to multilateral trade negotiations. This paper analyses the impact of WTO agricultural trade policies on developing economies. An attempt is made to discuss the benefits and risks for agricultural trade associated with the changes in international trade. The paper also delves agricultural reforms that were introduced by the GATT prior to 1995. The paper examines whether the reforms were useful for the developing countries or not. By way of a summing up, some insights are set out to provoke analysis and debate on the controversial WTO talks.

Suggested Citation

  • Ravinder Rena, 2008. "WTO and Agricultural Trade – Some Issues and Perspectives," KASBIT Business Journals, Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT), vol. 1, pages 49-60, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ksb:journl:v:1:y:2008:p:49-60

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy E. Josling, 1998. "Agricultural Trade Policy: Completing the Reform," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa53.
    2. Merlinda D. Ingco & John D. Nash, 2004. "Agriculture and the WTO : Creating a Trading System for Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14930, July.
    3. Arvind Panagariya, 2002. "Developing Countries at Doha: A Political Economy Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9), pages 1205-1233, September.
    4. Arvind Panagariya, 2000. "Preferential Trade Liberalization: The Traditional Theory and New Developments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 287-331, June.
    5. Rena, Ravinder, 2005. "WTO and Agriculture Trade Liberalization – A Focus on China," MPRA Paper 10318, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jennifer Pédussel Wu, 2005. "Trade Agreements as Self-Protection," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 472-484, August.
    7. Rena, Ravinder, 2005. "Developing Countries And Their Participation In The Wto In Making Trade Policy – An Analysis," MPRA Paper 10367, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2006.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    WTO; Agriculture Tariff; GATT; Market Access; Developing Countries; Quotas;

    JEL classification:

    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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