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That was then but this is now

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  • Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio
  • Tin, Jonathan

Abstract

Current agricultural negotiations in the World Trade Organization are grappling on how to fully integrate agriculture within the general rules for trade in goods. The notion of multifunctionality of agriculture has been suggested as a reason to justify special treatment for that sector, including the continuation of its protection and subsidization. Many developing countries are still analyzing whether the idea has something to offer them in terms of their negotiating positions and policy framework. While multifunctionality has been invoked for supporting agriculture in developed countries, a similar idea, although not called so at the time, was clearly behind support for industry in developing countries. Again in this case, the policy implication was that government intervention was required (through trade protection, subsidies, and other special policies) to develop an industrial base that contributed to society more than what market valuations alone would suggest. The debate on industrialization in developing countries was part of a broader discussion regarding nation-building, economic development, and social modernization. The current arguments around multifunctionality are similarly embedded in a larger economic, political and social matrix. This paper, although it does not present a full account of either debate, discusses some of the intriguing parallelisms in their theoretical frameworks, policy implications and economic and social impacts. The main objective is to clarify current policy issues for the agricultural sector in developing countries, highlighting possible consequences for the negotiating position of developing countries in the WTO process.

Suggested Citation

  • Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio & Tin, Jonathan, 2002. "That was then but this is now," TMD discussion papers 94, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:tmddps:94
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hertel, Thomas W. & Kym Anderson & Joseph Francois & Will Martin, 2002. "Agriculture and Non-Agricultural Liberalization in the Millennium Round," GTAP Working Papers 235, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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    6. Koester, Ulrich & Bale, Malcolm D, 1990. "The Common Agricultural Policy: A Review of Its Operation and Effects on Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 95-121, January.
    7. Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio & Reca, Lucio, 2000. "Trade and agroindustrialization in developing countries: trends and policy impacts," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 219-229, September.
    8. Bruton, H.J., 1998. "A Reconsideration of Import Substitution," Center for Development Economics 156, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raúl Serrano & Vicente Pinilla, 2014. "New directions of trade for the agri-food industry: a disaggregated approach for different income countries, 1963–2000," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-22, December.
    2. Raúl Serrano & Vicente Pinilla, 2006. "Causes of World Trade Growth in Agricultural and Food Products, 1951 - 2000," Documentos de Trabajo dt2006-07, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
    3. Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio & Robinson, Sherman & Thomas, Marcelle, 2002. "On boxes, contents, and users," TMD discussion papers 82, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Diao, Xinshen & Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio & Robinson, Sherman & Orden, David, 2005. "Tell me where it hurts, an' I'll tell you who to call," MTID discussion papers 84, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Raúl Serranoa & Vicente Pinilla, 2010. "The Evolution and Changing Geographical Structure of World Agri-food Trade, 1950-2000," Working Papers 10-06, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).

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