Regionalism in World Agricultural Trade: Lessons from Gravity Model Estimation
Relative to trade in non-agricultural goods, progress in achieving agricultural trade liberalization under the GATT/WTO has been slow. Agricultural trade is characterized by persistently high levels of protection on a scale that is uncommon in non-agricultural trade. Article XXIV of the GATT, 1994 permits a group of countries to form a trade union whereby trade barriers are reduced or removed on all sectors of trade. Within regional trade agreements however, agricultural trade often receives special treatment, and in some cases, agriculture is completely exempt. Typically, debates over the effects of regional trade agreements have focused on welfare. In this study we seek to answer a more fundamental question of what effect these agreements have had on agricultural trade.
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