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Bird Flu, the OIE, and National Regulation: The WTO’s India – Agricultural Products dispute

Author

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  • Chad P. Bown
  • Jennifer A.

Abstract

This paper provides a legal-economic assessment of issues arising in the Panel Report over the WTO’s India – Agricultural Products dispute, one of a growing list of disputes arising at the intersection of the WTO and domestic regulatory policy over human, animal or plant health. This dispute featured allegations that India’s import measures applied against avian influenza (AI) infected countries over poultry and related products were too restrictive, in light of the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE’s) scientifically-motivated standards and guidelines. We rely on insights from a set of economic models of commercial poultry markets in the presence of negative externalities such as AI. We use such models to motivate critical tradeoffs arising at the intersection of government regulatory regimes designed to deal with AI, and how they fit alongside trade agreements such as the WTO and standard-setting bodies such as the OIE, which combine to impose constraints on regulatory and trade policy. While we find the institutional design of the OIE to be well-motivated and we are in broad agreement with the overall thrust of the Panel Report in the dispute, we also highlight a number of subtle issues which pose long-term challenges for the multilateral trading system’s ability to balance trade rules with public health concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad P. Bown & Jennifer A., 2015. "Bird Flu, the OIE, and National Regulation: The WTO’s India – Agricultural Products dispute," RSCAS Working Papers 2015/71, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2015/71
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher Costello & Carol McAusland, 2003. "Protectionism, Trade, and Measures of Damage from Exotic Species Introductions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 964-975.
    2. Chad Bown & Kara Reynolds, 2015. "Trade flows and trade disputes," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 145-177, June.
    3. McAusland, Carol, 2008. "Trade, politics, and the environment: Tailpipe vs. smokestack," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 52-71, January.
    4. McAusland, Carol & Costello, Christopher, 2004. "Avoiding invasives: trade-related policies for controlling unintentional exotic species introductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 954-977, September.
    5. Jee-Hyeong Park, 2011. "Enforcing International Trade Agreements with Imperfect Private Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1102-1134.
    6. Giovanni Maggi, 1999. "The Role of Multilateral Institutions in International Trade Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 190-214, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813233058_0021 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kamal Saggi & Mark Wu, 2018. "Trade and Agricultural Disease: Import Restrictions in the Wake of the India–Agricultural Products Dispute," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Economic Analysis of the Rules and Regulations of the World Trade Organization, chapter 21, pages 483-506 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    WTO; dispute settlement; bird flu; OIE; health regulation; avian influenza;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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