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Multifunctionality: Concepts and Applications to the WTO Negotiations on Agriculture

  • Bredahl, Maury E.
  • Prestegard, Sjur Spildo
  • Nersten, Nils Kristian
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    The ongoing negotiations in the WTO will most certainly lead to a further liberalization of the global agricultural trade. Related to this, many national governments, including Norway, Switzerland and Japan have placed substantial emphasis on the so-called non-trade concerns. In addition to the production of food and fiber, agriculture also provides or may provide national food security, environmental benefits, and viable rural areas. The term "Multifunctional Agriculture" has been applied to describe these additional functions. In this paper, we will show how the economic concepts of "positive and negative externalities" and "public goods" can be used to analyse non-trade concerns and multifunctionality, especially with reference to agriculture's impact on the environment. We conclude the paper with suggestions for international trade rules that can allow countries to meet domestic environmental policy objectives in a minimally trade-distorting manner.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/24970
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    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain with number 24970.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae02:24970
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    1. Ian Hodge, 2000. "Agri-environmental Pelationships and the Choice of Policy Mechanism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 257-273, 02.
    2. Romstad, Eirik, 2002. "Policies for Promoting Public Goods in Agriculture," 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain 24930, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
    4. Alves, Eliseu & Faro, Clovis De & Contini, Elisio, 1991. "Government and Agricultural Development," 1991 Conference, August 22-29, 1991, Tokyo, Japan 183249, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
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