IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Environmental Considerations in a New Multilateral Agricultural Negotiation, and Associated Developing Country Implications


  • John Whalley


This paper discusses the potential role for environmental considerations in agricultural negotiations in the next WTO trade round, from developing country perspective. For now, as a non-trade issue in the new negotiations, environmental considerations are not the dominant concern, which is food security; although conflicts have arisen over the issue of multi functionality (agriculture serving multiple purposes including providing support for the rural environment), whether export subsidies have any rationale on environmental grounds, and the environmental case for the elimination of fishing subsidies. If new agricultural disciplines remain focused on the Uruguay Round issues of tightening the existing structure of bound tariffs, and limitations on domestic supports and export subsidies, then environmental concerns could enter in all of these. I suggest that for the developing countries, available studies seemingly point to substantial gains for them from internalization of externalities related to their own rural/agricultural activities and seemingly, further, environmental concerns should dominate trade concerns. However, the agriculture disciplines from the Uruguay Round seemingly provide relatively inefficient instruments to achieve substantive internalization of their externalities. Also, allowing environmental concerns to enter runs the risk of market restricting justifications (multi functionality) adversely affecting their export access to foreign markets. Finally, among the list of items on the trade and environmental agenda (Art 20 exceptions, MEAs, lax standards, eco-labeling) few or none can be addressed adequately as part of an environmental negotiation, and so environment in an agricultural negotiation is no substitute for a wider trade and environment negotiation. The bottom line is to suggest that developing countries focus heavily on environmental issues, perhaps even more so than trade, but that a WTO negotiation on agriculture is not the best forum to seek a remedy.

Suggested Citation

  • John Whalley, 1999. "Environmental Considerations in a New Multilateral Agricultural Negotiation, and Associated Developing Country Implications," CSGR Working papers series 46/99, Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick.
  • Handle: RePEc:wck:wckewp:46/99

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Environment; Agriculture; Developing Countries.;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wck:wckewp:46/99. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.