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WTO's Doha Cotton Initiative: A Tale of Two Issues

  • Anderson, Kym
  • Valenzuela, Ernesto

Four West African nations have demanded the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda include a Cotton Initiative that involves two issues: cutting cotton subsidies and tariffs, and assisting farm productivity growth in Africa. This paper provides estimates of the potential economic impacts of (a) complete or partial cotton subsidies and import tariffs globally and (b) cotton productivity growth through the adoption of genetically modified (GM) cotton varieties. Use is made of the latest version of the GTAP database and model. Our results confirm that – unlike for other agricultural subsidies and tariffs – for cotton it is subsidy reductions rather than tariff cuts that would make by far the largest impact. For Sub-Saharan Africa the potential gains are huge relative to the effects on them of reforming other merchandise trade policies. And they could be more than doubled if that reform provided the cash for farmers to take advantage of the biotechnology revolution and adopt GM cotton varieties. But those potential gains, and the affordability of switching to costly GM seed, depend crucially on the extent to which high-income countries are willing to lower domestic support to their cotton farmers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5567.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5567
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  1. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access," CEPR Discussion Papers 5569, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48557, World Bank.
  3. Harald Grethe, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 591-595, December.
  4. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6889, March.
  5. Kym Anderson & Lee Ann Jacskon, 2004. "Some Implications of GM Food Technology Policies for Sub-Saharan Africa," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2004-09, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
  6. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will & van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 2005. "Would multilateral trade reform benefit Sub-Saharan Africans?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3616, The World Bank.
  7. Anderson, Kym & Jackson, Lee Ann & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "GM Cotton Adoption, Recent and Prospective: A Global CGE Analysis of Economic Impacts," CEPR Discussion Papers 5568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Martin, William J. & Liu, Yu, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48478, World Bank.
  9. John Baffes, 2005. "The "Cotton Problem"," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 109-144.
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