Agricultural Trade Liberalization in a New Trade Round logo

This discussion paper contains seven studies, designed to a) review, and assess the impact of the implementation of the Uruguay Round (UR) Agreement on Agriculture, and, b) to analyze the key issues, interests, and options for developing countries in the new World Trade Organization ' s (WTO) round of multilateral trade negotiations in agriculture. Six regional case studies are presented: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Latin America, Eastern Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and industrial countries. A quantitative analysis of the dynamics of multilateral liberalization in food, and agricultural trade is also presented. Among some of the key conclusions, it is suggested that much preparatory work was achieved in bringing agriculture fully into the multilateral trading system during the UR, and, a significant achievement was the development of a broad framework for reductions in trade-distorting policies. The UR was also successful in negotiating reduced volumes of subsidized exports, and in providing at least, minimum levels of access to markets. There were, however, a number of limitations in both what was agreed to, and in how the Agreement in Agriculture has actually been implemented, as the analyses show that the work achieved during the UR, will be of limited value, unless market distortions in agriculture can be reduced substantially. If liberal agricultural trade is to succeed, its limitations should be addressed, and policy induced distortions to agricultural production, be substantially reduced.

Publisher: World Bank

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