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Fashioning a New Regime for Agricultural Trade: New Issues and the Global Food Crisis


  • Thomas J. Schoenbaum


This article examines the impact of issues such as the global food crisis, export controls on agricultural products, and food security on the agricultural trade negotiations currently underway in connection with the Doha Development Agenda convened by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. These important issues, which were not foreseen when the negotiations began, must now be squarely faced. Many international organizations, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and most recently the G-20, are examining in particular the problem of food security. While food security and the global food crisis require solutions and actions that are broader than international trade, trade reform in agricultural products is an essential part of their solution. This article concludes that these new issues do not change the basic international agreement that needs to be reached to reform the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. WTO members still should pursue agreement on market access, reducing and simplifying domestic support, and eliminating export subsidies. However, to deal with food security issues, WTO members should take up the export side of agricultural trade and prohibit export controls altogether, or at least enact strict criteria before export controls may be instituted by WTO members. Oxford University Press 2011, all rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Schoenbaum, 2011. "Fashioning a New Regime for Agricultural Trade: New Issues and the Global Food Crisis," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 593-611, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jieclw:v:14:y:2011:i:3:p:593-611

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