Trade and Fisheries Subsidies
World Trade Organization members included fishery subsidies in the Doha round of trade negotiations, which subsequently stalled. This paper develops a simple model to show why prospects for a deal on fisheries subsidies may be difficult. Typically international spillover effects create incentives among exporters to negotiate reductions in subsidies: one country's subsidy worsens other exporters' terms of trade. These incentives may not exist in fisheries for 3 reasons. First, if fisheries are severely depleted, one country's subsidy reduces its long run supply of fish, raising prices and benefiting other fish exporting countries. Second, if governments use other policies to manage fish stocks, then changes in subsidies may not affect harvests and hence may not generate international spillover effects. And third, even if governments were compelled to reduce fishery subsidies, there may be little real effect because governments would be motivated to weaken other regulations targeting the fish sector.
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