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Choosing Sensitive Agricultural Products in Trade Negotiations

  • Sébastien Jean
  • David Laborde
  • Will Martin

The formula approach used in many trade negotiations involves large formula cuts in high tariffs, with flexibilities that allow smaller cuts for selected products. Difficulties in evaluating the effects of these exceptions can create major problems. We use a politicaleconomy welfare function and detailed data on the current WTO agricultural negotiations to assess the implications of this approach for welfare and for market access. We find that some previous rules of thumb greatly underestimate the impacts of such exceptions. Indeed, treating even a small number of tariff lines as sensitive and subjecting them to reduced cuts has a sharply adverse impact on welfare, and a smaller but still negative impact on market access.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2008-18.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2008-18
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  1. Sébastien Jean & David Laborde & Will Martin, 2005. "Consequences of Alternative Formulas for Agricultural Tariff Cuts," Working Papers 2005-15, CEPII research center.
  2. Joseph Francois & Will Martin, 2002. "Commercial Policy Variability, Bindings, and Market Access," International Trade 0210002, EconWPA.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
  9. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48557, World Bank.
  10. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Maggi, Giovanni & Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 2005. "A Political-Economy Theory of Trade Agreements," CEPR Discussion Papers 5321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, June.
  13. James E Anderson & J Peter Neary, 2004. "Welfare versus Market Access - The Implications of Tariff Structure for Tariff Reform," Working Papers 200423, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  14. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
  15. Neary, J Peter, 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and Shadow Prices in the Presence of Tariffs and Quotas," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 531-54, August.
  16. Davide Furceri & Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, 2008. "Government Consumption Volatility and Country Size," Working Papers 2008-17, CEPII research center.
  17. Antoine Bouët & Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné & Sébastien Jean & David Laborde, 2004. "A Consistent, Ad-Valorem Equivalent Measure of Applied Protection Across the World: The MAcMap-HS6 Database," Working Papers 2004-22, CEPII research center.
  18. Vanzetti, David & Peters, Ralf, 2008. "Do Sensitive Products Undermine Ambition?," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6044, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  19. Hanoch, Giora, 1975. "Production and Demand Models with Direct or Indirect Implicit Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 395-419, May.
  20. Martin, W. & Winters, L.A., 1995. "The Uruguay Round and the Developing Countries," World Bank - Discussion Papers 307, World Bank.
  21. Mohamed Hedi Bchir & Sébastien Jean & David Laborde, 2006. "Binding Overhang and Tariff-Cutting Formulas," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(2), pages 207-232, July.
  22. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoglu, 2002. ""Protection For Sale" In A Developing Country: Democracy Vs. Dictatorship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 497-508, August.
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  24. Francois, Joseph & Martin, Will, 2003. "Formula Approaches for Market Access Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. David Laborde, 2007. "Global Overview of Trade Policies," La Lettre du CEPII, CEPII research center, issue 267.
  26. Kym Anderson, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives : A Global Perspective, 1955-2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9436.
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