A Global Analysis Of Agricultural Trade Reform In Wto Member Countries
The effect on production, trade and well-being from the granting of market access, removing export subsidies, and eliminating trade-distorting forms of direct support to farmers in WTO member countries is analyzed from a world-wide general equilibrium perspective using the most recently available data. The results suggest that removing trade barriers, subsidies and support will cause aggregate world prices of agricultural commodities to rise by over 11 percent relative to an index of all other prices. Agricultural support and protection in the developed countries is found to be the major cause of low agricultural prices, and implicitly, a tax on net agricultural exporters in developing countries. Livestock product prices are likely to increase the most from the reform of agricultural policies. Reform increase world trade in agricultural commodities, but the level of total agricultural production is left almost unchanged. In the short to medium term, some net agricultural importing countries are likely to suffer a welfare loss due to an adverse change in their terms of trade that reform causes. However, in the longer-run, reform of agricultural policies is found to benefit almost all countries and developing countries in particular due to the change reform induces in their pattern of investment, growth in capital stock, and to growth in their total factor productivity.
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