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Sensitive Products: Selection and Implications for Agricultural Trade Negotiations


  • Jean, Sebastien
  • Laborde, David
  • Martin, William J.


The current negotiating framework for WTO negotiations on agriculture includes flexibilities for "sensitive" products to be chosen by the importer. Without knowing which products their partners are likely to select, WTO members cannot assess the implications of an agreement for their market access opportunities. In this paper, we begin by specifying a Grossman-Helpman type political-economy welfare function, and use this to determine which products are likely to be selected as sensitive products. Assuming these products are subjected to smaller reduction in protection, we find that allowing even 2 percent of tariff lines to be treated as sensitive can greatly reduce the impact of an agreement on market access. This problem is, in part, a consequence of using a percentage of tariff lines as the constraint on the use of sensitive products. If the constraint on the products to be classified as sensitive takes more directly into account the interests of the exporter - being specified, for example, as a share of imports - then the adverse impacts on market access opportunities can be greatly reduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean, Sebastien & Laborde, David & Martin, William J., 2005. "Sensitive Products: Selection and Implications for Agricultural Trade Negotiations," Working Papers 18860, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:tragwp:18860

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sergei Guriev & Andrei Rachinsky, 2005. "The Role of Oligarchs in Russian Capitalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 131-150, Winter.
    2. E. Serova & O. Shick., 2005. "Markets for Purchased Farm Inputs," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 6.
    3. Mokshina, Polina, 2005. "Competitiveness of Russian Dairy Sector: Inter-Regional Comparison," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24638, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Serova, Eugenia & Shick, Olga, 2005. "Markets for Purchased Farm Inputs in Transitional Agriculture: Russia's Example," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24583, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. FFF1Jitka NNN1Rychtarikova, 2004. "The case of the Czech Republic," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 2(5), pages 105-138, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Gilbert, "undated". "Agricultural Trade Reform and Poverty in the Asia-Pacific: A Survey and Some New Results," MPDD Working Paper Series WP/08/01, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
    2. John Gilbert, 2008. "Agricultural trade reform and poverty in the Asia-Pacific region: a survey and some new results," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 15(1), pages 1-34, June.
    3. Ramos, Maria Priscila, 2007. "Politique Commerciale, Qualité et Environnement: une Application aux Négociations Commerciales entre l’Union Européenne et le Mercosur," MPRA Paper 12640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Jales, Mario & Josling, Timothy E. & Nassar, Andre Meloni & Tutwiler, M. Ann, 2005. "Market Access," Trade Policy Issues Papers 14570, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    5. Cadot, Olivier & Gallezot, Jacques & Suwa Eisenmann, Akiko, 2009. "EU Trade Barriers in the Agri-food Sector: When Protection Breeds Dependence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7219, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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