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The World Trade Organization's Doha cotton initiative : a tale of two issues

  • Anderson, Kym
  • Valenzuela, Ernesto

Four West African nations have demanded that the World Trade Organization's Doha Development Agenda include a Cotton Initiative that involves two issues: cutting cotton subsidies and tariffs, and assisting farm productivity growth in Africa. The authors provide estimates of the potential economic impacts of (1) complete or partial removal of cotton subsidies and import tariffs globally, and (2) cotton productivity growth through the adoption of genetically modified (GM) cotton varieties. They use the latest version of the GTAP database and model. Their results confirm that-unlike for other agricultural subsidies and tariffs-for cotton it is subsidy reductions rather than tariff cuts that would make by far the largest impact. For Sub-Saharan Africa the potential gains are huge relative to the effects on that region of reforming other merchandise trade policies. And they could be more than doubled if that reform provided the cash for farmers to take advantage of the biotechnology revolution and adopt GM cotton varieties. But those potential gains, and the affordability of switching to costly GM seed, depend crucially on the extent to which high-income countries are willing to lower domestic support to their cotton farmers.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3918.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3918
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  1. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J. & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21180, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  2. Harald Grethe, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 591-595, December.
  3. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will, 2005. "Agricultural trade reform and the Doha development agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3607, The World Bank.
  4. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Martin, William J. & Liu, Yu, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48478, World Bank.
  5. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48557, World Bank.
  6. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will & van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 2005. "Would Multilateral Trade Reform Benefit Sub-Saharan Africans?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5049, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Hertel, Thomas, . "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and applications," GTAP Books 7685, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  8. John Baffes, 2005. "The "Cotton Problem"," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 109-144.
  9. Kym Anderson & Lee Ann Jackson, 2005. "Some Implications of GM Food Technology Policies for Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(3), pages 385-410, September.
  10. Kym Anderson & Ernesto Valenzuela & Lee Ann Jackson, 2007. "Recent and Prospective Adoption of Genetically Modified Cotton: A Global CGE Analysis of Economic Impacts," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2007-07, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
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