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

  • Xiong, Bo
  • Beghin, John C.

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.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 35584.

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Date of creation: 21 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35584
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Bo Xiong & John C. Beghin, 2013. "Disentangling Demand-Enhancing and Trade-Cost Effects of Maximum Residue Regulations," Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Publications 13-wp544, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at Iowa State University.
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  13. Beghin, John C., 2013. "Non-Tariff Measures with Market Imperfections: Trade and Welfare Implications," Staff General Research Papers 35923, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  16. Xiong, Bo & Beghin, John C., 2011. "Disentangling the Demand-enhancing Effect and Trade-cost Effect of Technical Measures in Agricultural Trade among OECD countries," Proceedings Issues, 2011: Agricultural Price Volatility, Trade Policy and Food Security in Developing Countries, December 2011, St. Petersburg, FL 116898, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
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