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Environment and Quality Standards in the WTO: New Protectionism in Agricultural Trade? A European Perspective

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  • Mahe, Louis-Pascal

Abstract

The Uruguay Round Agricultural Agreement will discipline traditional agricultural policies, particularly in the long run. It is argued that the same trade interests and lobby pressures will trigger a new protectionism based on non-tariff barriers, under the cover of objectives related to health, quality, environment and ethics. Economic theory provides some guidelines for distinguishing between the measures necessary to alleviate market failures and those which are protectionist abuses of consumer or environmental protection objectives. The WTO has implemented an efficient system of checks to limit this tendency, as can be seen from the Agreements related to these issues and recent panel decisions. However, WTO activities seem to be limited by the role of objectivity and science in the case of global commons and ethics. Moreover, the WTO is the outcome of a voluntary treaty and tends to focus more on barriers to trade and less on global welfare losses related to world commons and to ethics. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahe, Louis-Pascal, 1997. "Environment and Quality Standards in the WTO: New Protectionism in Agricultural Trade? A European Perspective," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 24(3-4), pages 480-503.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:erevae:v:24:y:1997:i:3-4:p:480-503
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    Cited by:

    1. Moon, Wanki, 2011. "Is agriculture compatible with free trade?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 13-24.
    2. Christophe Charlier & Michel Rainelli, 2002. "Hormones, Risk Management, Precaution and Protectionism: An Analysis of the Dispute on Hormone-Treated Beef between the European Union and the United States," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 83-97, September.
    3. John C. Beghin & Jean-Christophe Bureau, 2001. "Quantification of Sanitary, Phytosanitary, and Technical Barriers to Trade for Trade Policy Analysis," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 01-wp291, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    4. Charlier, Christophe & Ngo, Mai-Anh, 2006. "An analysis of the dispute European Communities - Protection of trademarks and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs," 98th Seminar, June 29-July 2, 2006, Chania, Crete, Greece 10032, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Gay, Stephan Hubertus & Mellado, Aida Gonzalez & M'Barek, Robert, 2010. "Assessment of non-tariff measures for selected agri-food exports from Africa to the European Union," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 113785, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
    6. Margareta Timbur & Spiridon Pralea, 2013. "Relationship In The Context Of Sustainable Development," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 5(2), pages 279-299.
    7. Guyomard, Herve & Bureau, Jean-Christophe & Gohin, Alexandre & Le Mouel, Chantal, 2000. "Impact of the 1996 US FAIR Act on the Common Agricultural Policy in the World Trade Organisation context: the decoupling issue," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 17-34, February.
    8. Steiner, Bodo E., 2002. "The Valuation Of Labelling Attributes In A Wine Market," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19718, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Crespi, John M. & Marette, Stephan, 2003. "Some Economic Implications Of Public Labeling," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 34(03), November.
    10. Taghouti, Ibtissem & Martinez-Gomez, Victor & Marti, Luisa, 2016. "Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures in agri-food imports from the European Union: Reputation effects over time," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 16(2).
    11. Maze, Armelle, 2005. "Integrated Agriculture Labelling and consumer information: retailer's strategies and regulatory issues in the European context," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19175, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. Zezza, Annalisa, 2002. "The Changing Public Role in Services to Agriculture: The Case of Information," 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain 24902, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Yi-Bin Chiu, 2012. "Deforestation and the Environmental Kuznets Curve in Developing Countries: A Panel Smooth Transition Regression Approach," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 60(2), pages 177-194, June.
    14. Moon, Wanki, 2010. "Multifunctional Agriculture, Protectionism, And Prospect Of Trade Liberalization," Journal of Rural Development/Nongchon-Gyeongje, Korea Rural Economic Institute, vol. 33(2), July.
    15. Finco, Adele & Padella, Monica & Di Pronio, Guido & Pollonara, Mirco, 2008. "Dinamiche del commercio internazionale dell'olio di oliva italiano: un'analisi prospettica," 2008 XVI Convegno Annuale SIEA - Le Dinamiche del Commercio Agro-alimentare Tra Commodities e Prodotti Differenziati, 5-6 Giugno 2008, Trieste 48194, Italian Society of Agri-food Economics/Società Italiana di Economia Agro-Alimentare (SIEA).
    16. Okumu, Luke & Nyankori, James Cyprian Okuk, 2010. "Non-tariff barriers in EAC customs union: implications for trade between Uganda and other EAC countries," Research Series 113621, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).

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