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The impact of World Trade Organization Agreements on fish trade









Trollvik, T. The impact of World Trade Organization agreements on fish trade. FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 977. Rome, FAO. 2002. 61p.


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    Between 1999 and 2002 FAO undertook a series of 23 country case studies to evaluate the impact of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) on agricultural trade and food security in developing countries. The objectives of these studies were to assess the extent to which the AoA commitments had led to changes in domestic agricultural policy, to evaluate the impact on trade flows (imports and exports) of developing countries and to assess whether implementing the AoA commitments had had any impact o n food security. An important finding was that for most of the countries in the sample, the implementation of AoA commitments did not imply any major change to domestic agricultural policy, including trade policy. The main reason was that most of the countries had implemented during the 1980s and early 1990s unilateral reforms including the liberalization of international trade, often as part of the conditionality of adjustment loans. Some of these were bound as part of their multilateral commit ments in Uruguay Round. In other cases, commitments were made in terms of ceiling bindings or reduction from bound rates which diverged considerably from existing applied levels. It became clear that in order to make a realistic assessment of the impact of trade-related policy reforms on food security, it was necessary to extend the analysis over a period that included the implementation of substantial unilateral reforms.
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    The paper explores the impact of an agricultural trade agreement, simulating alternative liberalization scenarios, and studying the outcomes of the interaction between the strategies of country groups in the negotiations. The analysis is based on the model of the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), and on the related version 5.4 database. Scenarios are run on a 2013 baseline, built by taking into account a number of events that have affected (and will further affect) world agricultural markets up to that period, focusing on the effects that are specifically attributable to further trade liberalization in the Doha Round. The policy strategies analyzed are two liberalization scenarios based on the proposals made in the present round of agricultural negotiations in terms of market access and export competition, plus a free agricultural trade benchmark scenario. Simulations are employed to study the interactions between the possible strategies of two wide country groups – developed and d eveloping countries on the basis of game theory, and to search for mutually advantageous agreements to be compared with actual agreement hypotheses. Results indicate that welfare gains could be reaped both by developed and developing countries and the possibility of inter-country compensations would allow, at least in principle, an agreement to be reached.
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    This is the second issue of the Review of basic food policies, which covers policy developments in production, consumption marketing and trade of cereals, oilseeds and livestock products during the period 2001-2002. The policy information contained in the report is taken from country responses to FAO questionnaires and from publicly available sources. The period under review was marked by several significant developments, particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Ministerial Agreement that launched a new round of multilateral trade negotiations. This Agreement has set in train discussions on agriculture that include a review of experience so far with the implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (AOA). Thus it is hoped that the examination of agricultural policies that is contained in this and earlier versions of the Review might be of use to countries in their preparations for the negotiations on agriculture.

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