The Consequences of Agricultural Trade Liberalization for Developing Countries: Distinguishing between Genuine Benefits and False Hopes

20 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2005

See all articles by Jean-Christophe Bureau

Jean-Christophe Bureau

AgroParisTech-INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research)

Sébastien Jean

OECD Economics Department

Alan Matthews

Trinity College (Dublin) - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 2005

Abstract

Recent analyses suggest that the impact of agricultural trade liberalization on developing countries will be very uneven. Some simulations suggest that the effects of agricultural trade liberalization will be small, overall, and are likely to be negative for a significant number of developing countries. The Doha Round focuses on tariff issues, but these countries currently have practically duty-free access to European and North American markets under preferential regimes. Multilateral liberalization will erode the benefits of these preferences, which are presently rather well utilized in the agricultural sector. The main obstacles to the exports of sub-Saharan African and least developed countries appear to be in the non-tariff area (sanitary, phytosanitary standards) which increasingly originate from the private sector and are not dealt with under the Doha framework (traceability requirements, etc.). An agreement in Doha is unlikely to solve these problems and open large markets for the poorest countries. It might even increase their handicap relative to developing countries that are more advanced from a technical and commercial standpoint. While this is not an argument to give up multilateral liberalization, a more specific and differentiated treatment should be considered in WTO rules, and corrective measures should be implemented.

Keywords: Agricultural Trade, Liberalization, WTO

JEL Classification: F13, Q17

Suggested Citation

Bureau, Jean-Christophe and Jean, Sébastien and Matthews, Alan, The Consequences of Agricultural Trade Liberalization for Developing Countries: Distinguishing between Genuine Benefits and False Hopes (April 2005). IIIS Discussion Paper No. 73, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=739751 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.739751

Jean-Christophe Bureau (Contact Author)

AgroParisTech-INRA (National Institute for Agricultural Research) ( email )

BP1 Economie
INRA-AgroParisTech
78850 Grignon, 78850
France

HOME PAGE: http://perso.club-internet.fr/jcbureau

Sébastien Jean

OECD Economics Department ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, MO 63108
France

Alan Matthews

Trinity College (Dublin) - Department of Economics ( email )

Dublin 2
Ireland
+00353 1 896 1069 (Phone)
+00353 1 677 2503 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tcd.ie/Economics/staff/amtthews/index.htm

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