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China, GMOs and World Trade in Agricultural and Textile Products


  • Anderson, Kym
  • Yao, Shunli


China has always strived for self-sufficiency in farm products, particularly staple foods. Its rapid industrialization following its opening up to global markets during the past two decades has been making that more difficult, and its accession to the WTO may add to that difficulty. New agricultural biotechnologies could ease that situation. The adoption and spread of some of those biotechnologies in agriculture have, however, raised concerns, particularly over the environmental and food safety effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This Paper focuses on possible implications of the GMO controversy for China, since it is prospectively not only a major producer and consumer of GM farm products but also a potential exporter of some of them. It explores the potential economic effects of China not adopting versus adopting GMOs when some of its trading partners adopt that technology. The effects are shown to depend to a considerable extent on the trade policy stance taken in high-income countries opposed to GMOs and/or to liberalization of China’s trade in textiles and apparel.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Kym & Yao, Shunli, 2002. "China, GMOs and World Trade in Agricultural and Textile Products," CEPR Discussion Papers 3171, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3171

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anderson, Kym & Pohl Nielsen, Chantal, 2000. "GMOs, Food Safety and the Environment: What Role for Trade Policy and the WTO?," 2000 Conference, August 13-18, 2000, Berlin, Germany 197188, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Terrie L. Walmsley & Thomas W. Hertel, 2001. "China's Accession to the WTO: Timing is Everything," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(8), pages 1019-1049, September.
    3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, and International Economic Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 519-562.
    4. Pray, Carl & Ma, Danmeng & Huang, Jikun & Qiao, Fangbin, 2001. "Impact of Bt Cotton in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 813-825, May.
    5. Falcon, Walter P., 2000. "Globalizing Germ Plasm: Barriers, Benefits and Boundaries," 2000 Conference, August 13-18, 2000, Berlin, Germany 197185, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. José Benjamin Falck-Zepeda & Greg Traxler & Robert G. Nelson, 2000. "Surplus Distribution from the Introduction of a Biotechnology Innovation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 360-369.
    7. Anderson, Kym, 2000. "Agriculture's 'multifunctionality' and the WTO," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 44(3), September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kym Anderson & Jikun Huang & Elena Ianchovichina, 2002. "Impact of ChinaÂ’s WTO Accession on Farm-Nonfarm Income Inequality and Rural Poverty," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2002-11, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
    2. Frisvold, George & Reeves, Jeanne, 0. "Genetically Modified Crops: International Trade And Trade Policy Effects," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 3.
    3. Kym Anderson, 2005. "Agricultural trade reform and poverty reduction in developing countries," Chapters,in: Trade Policy Reforms and Development, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Gruere, Guillaume & Bouet, Antoine & Mevel, Simon, 2007. "Genetically modified food and international trade: The case of India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines," IFPRI discussion papers 740, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Antoine Bouët & Guillaume P. Gruère, 2011. "Refining Opportunity Cost Estimates of Not Adopting GM Cotton: An Application in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 260-279.
    6. Saunders, Caroline M. & Cagatay, Selim, 2003. "Commercial release of first-generation genetically modified food products in New Zealand: using a partial equilibrium trade model to assess the impact on producer returns in New Zealand," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(2), June.
    7. van Tongeren, Frank W. & Huang, Jikun, 2004. "China'S Food Economy In The Early 21st Century; Development Of China'S Food Economy And Its Impact On Global Trade And On The Eu," Report Series 29093, Agricultural Economics Research Institute.
    8. Jackson, Lee Ann & Anderson, Kym, 2003. "WHY ARE US AND EU POLICIES TOWARD GMOs SO DIFFERENT?," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 57898, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    9. Chang, Ching-Cheng & Hsu, Shih-Hsun & Wu, Chia-Hsuan, 2004. "An Economy-Wide Analysis Of Gm Food Labeling Policies In Taiwan," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19929, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Huang, Jikun & Hu, Ruifa & van Meijl, Hans & van Tongeren, Frank W., 2003. "Economic Impacts Of Genetically Modified Crops In China," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25883, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Anderson, Kym, 2003. "Trade Liberalization, Agriculture, and Poverty in Low-income Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 025, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Gomez-Barbero, Manuel & Rodgriguez-Cerezo, Emilio, 2005. "Estimate of the Potential Adoption of Genetically Modified Cotton by Farmers in Southern Spain and its Economic Implications," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24556, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Nielsen, Chantal Pohl & Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen, 2002. "Trade in genetically modified food," TMD discussion papers 106, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    14. repec:laf:wpaper:201002 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Guillaume P. Gruère & Simon Mevel & Antoine Bouët, 2009. "Balancing productivity and trade objectives in a competing environment: should India commercialize GM rice with or without China?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(4), pages 459-475, July.

    More about this item


    china; gmos; import ban; trade policy; wto;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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