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Does the US use Food Safety Regulation as a Disguised Barrier to Trade? Evidence from Canadian Agri-food Commodity Exports


  • Rollins, Emily R.


This study asks the question: is the US using food safety regulations illegitimately, that is as a non-tariff barrier to trade rather than to manage food safety risks, specifically in the context of agri-food imports from Canada? Data on US import refusals of three categories of fruits, vegetables and nuts, cereal products, and seafood are used as a proxy for stringency and enforcement of US food safety regulations, with a negative binomial generalized linear model being employed to determine the significance of range of food safety risk and other less legitimate drivers of US food safety regulations. Key variables used to capture political influence on US food safety regulations are lobbying contributions, changes in import prices, and the occurrence of countervailing investigations. While US border rejections for these commodities are largely explained by food safety risks, there is evidence of political influence, with qualitative and quantitative difference across the commodities.

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  • Rollins, Emily R., 2015. "Does the US use Food Safety Regulation as a Disguised Barrier to Trade? Evidence from Canadian Agri-food Commodity Exports," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205758, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea15:205758

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    2. Roberts, Donna & Josling, Timothy E. & Orden, David, 1999. "A Framework for Analyzing Technical Trade Barriers in Agricultural Markets," Technical Bulletins 33560, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Timothy E. Josling & Donna Roberts & David Orden, 2004. "Food Regulation and Trade: Toward a Safe and Open Global System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 347.
    4. Anders, Sven M. & Caswell, Julie A., 2009. "AJAE Appendix for Standards as Barriers versus Standards as Catalysts: Assessing the Impact of HACCP Implementation on U.S. Seafood Imports," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(2), May.
    5. Brooks, Nora L. & Buzby, Jean C. & Regmi, Anita, 2009. "Globalization and Evolving Preferences Drive U.S. Food­ Import Growth," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 40(1), March.
    6. Kathy Baylis & Lia Nogueira & Kathryn Pace, 2010. "Food Import Refusals: Evidence from the European Union," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 566-572.
    7. Buzby, Jean C. & Unnevehr, Laurian J. & Roberts, Donna, 2008. "Food Safety and Imports: An Analysis of FDA Food-Related Import Refusal Reports," Economic Information Bulletin 58626, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    More about this item


    Food safety regulation; non-tariff barriers; protectionism; import refusals; agricultural trade; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade; Political Economy;

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