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Stringent Maximum Residue Limits, Protectionism, and Competitiveness: The Cases of the US and Canada

Author

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  • Xiong, Bo
  • Beghin, John C.

Abstract

Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) on pesticides and veterinary drugs in plant and animal products are established to promote food safety and animal and plant health. In practice, however, they are often accused of creating unnecessary trade barriers. The controversy is more prominent when a given MRL is stricter than the corresponding international standard developed by Codex. Using the score indices constructed by Li and Beghin (2012), we empirically assess the implications of stringency in MRLs in plant and animal products, relative to Codex levels, for Canadian and U.S. trade performance. We find little evidence that U.S. imports are influenced by domestic stringency or those imposed by its trading partners. However, U.S. exports are negatively affected by stringency in destination markets. Canada's stringent MRLs facilitate its exports of plant and animal products and these exports do not seem to be impeded by MRL stringency in destination markets. Canada's imports do not appear to be systematically influenced by either its own or its trading partners' MRL stringency. We draw implications for the potential harmonization of MRLs between the two countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiong, Bo & Beghin, John C., 2012. "Stringent Maximum Residue Limits, Protectionism, and Competitiveness: The Cases of the US and Canada," Staff General Research Papers Archive 35584, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35584
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M. Ataman Aksoy & John C. Beghin, 2005. "Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7464.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferro, Esteban & Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S., 2015. "The effect of product standards on agricultural exports," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 68-79.
    2. Ferro, Esteban & Wilson, John S. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2013. "The effect of product standards on agricultural exports from developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6518, The World Bank.
    3. Arita, Shawn & Mitchell, Lorraine & Beckman, Jayson, 2015. "Estimating the Effects of Selected Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Technical Barriers to Trade on U.S.-EU Agricultural Trade," Economic Research Report 212887, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Foletti, Liliana & Shingal, Anirudh, 2014. "Stricter regulation boosts exports: the case of Maximum Residue Levels in pesticides," MPRA Paper 59895, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Maximum residue limit; MRL; standard; protectionism; Non-tariff measures; competitiveness; Canada; non-tariff barriers; gravity; US;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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