Preferential Trading Agreements and Agricultural Liberalization in East and Southeast Asia
The paper analyzes how various preferential trading arrangements deal with agriculture liberalization and examines a few case studies highlighting the provisions on agriculture. It assesses the effect of preferential trade agreements on agriculture trade flows in the case of ASEAN. It finds that while the tariff reduction on all goods, including agriculture, in ASEAN provides a marked advantage from the MFN tariff rates, intra-ASEAN agriculture trade have not been all that significant. Most of the growth in the intra-ASEAN trade had come from trade in industry; and if total agriculture trade had expanded, much of it was due to trade outside the region. The paper argues that AFTA, by original design, had not really been made to boost intra-regional agriculture trade, but rather to facilitate the inter-industry trade arising out of the vertically integrated network of manufacturing transnational corporations.
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