GATT and the Thai Agricultural Economy
Thailand has experienced steady economic growth over the last 20 years, in part because of its productive agricultural sector. The primary agricultural commodities produced in Thailand are rice, maize, cassava, poultry, and sugar. Thailand exports significant amounts of these commodities compared to its total agricultural production and the world export market. Thailand's internal and external agricultural policies are basically market oriented, with the exception of sugar and soybean programs. Sugar and soybean production are encouraged by government-subsidized inputs and price support programs. Import quotas also apply to soybeans and soybean meal. In light of Thailand's market-oriented policies, very few government programs would have to be altered to comply with a General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) agreement. Furthermore, because Thailand is primarily an agricultural exporter, it stands to reap significant economic benefit from an agreement that increases world trade of agricultural commodities.
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