The green barrier to free trade
C. P. Chandrasekhar
As the March 31 deadline for completing the "modalities" stage of the proposed new round of negotiations on global agricultural trade nears, hopes of an agreement are increasingly waning. In this edition of Macroscan, C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh examine the factors and the players constraining the realisation of such an agreement.
AT THE END of the latest round of meetings of the agricultural negotiations committee of the WTO, the optimism that negotiators would meet the March 31 deadline for working out numerical targets, formulas and other "modalities" through which countries can frame their liberalisation commitments in a new full-fledged round of trade negotiations has almost disappeared. That target was important for two reasons.
First, it is now becoming clear, that even more than was true during the Uruguay Round, forging an agreement in the agricultural area is bound to prove extremely difficult.
Progress in the agricultural negotiations was key to persuading the unconvinced that a new `Doha Round' of trade negotiations is useful and feasible.
Second, the Doha declaration made agricultural negotiations one part of a `single undertaking' to be completed by January 1, 2005. That is, in a take `all-or-nothing' scheme, countries had to arrive at, and be bound by, agreements in all areas in which negotiations were to be initiated in the new round. This means that if agreement is not worked out with regard to agriculture, there would be no change in the multilateral trade regime governing industry, services or related areas and no progress in new areas, such as competition policy, foreign investment and public procurement, all of which are crucial to the economic agenda of the developed countries.
The factors making agriculture the sticking point on this occasion are numerous. As in the last Round, there is little agreement among the developed countries themselves on the appropriate shape of the global agricultural trade regime.
There are substantial differences in the agenda of the US, the EU and the developed countries within the Cairns group of agricultural exporters. When the rich and the powerful disagree, a global consensus is not easy to come by.
But that is not all. Even if an agreement is stitched up between the rich nations, through manoeuvres such as the Blair House accord, getting the rest of the world to go along would be more difficult this time.
This is because the outcomes in the agricultural trade area since the implementation of the Uruguay Round (UR) Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) began have fallen far short of expectations. In the course of Round, advocates of the UR regime had promised global production adjustments that would increase the value of world agricultural trade and an increase in developing country share of such trade.
As Chart 1 shows, global production volumes continued to rise after 1994 when the implementation of the Uruguay Round began, with signs of tapering off only in 2000 and 2001. As is widely known, this increase in production occurred in the developed countries as well. #p#分頁標題#e#
Not surprisingly, therefore, the volume of world trade continued to rise as well after 1994 (Chart 2). The real shift occurred in agricultural prices which, after some buoyancy between 1993 and 1995, have declined thereafter, and particularly sharply after 1997. It is this decline in unit values that resulted in a situation where the value of world trade stagnated and then declined after 1995, when the implementation of the Uruguay Round began.
As Table 1 shows, there was a sharp fall in the rate of growth of global agricultural trade between the second half of the 1980s and the 1990s, with the decline in growth in the 1990s being due to the particularly poor performance during the 1998 to 2001 period.
Price declines and stagnation in agricultural trade values in the wake of the UR Agreement on Agriculture were accompanied and partly influenced by the persisting regionalisation of world agricultural trade.
The foci of such regionalisation were Western Europe and Asia, with 32 and 11 per cent of global agricultural trade being intra-Western European and intra-Asian trade respectively (Chart 3). What is noteworthy, however, is that agricultural exports accounted for a much higher share of both merchandise and primary products trade in North America and Western Europe (besides Latin America and Africa) than it did for Asia.
Thus, despite being the developed regions of the world, agricultural production and exports were important influences on the economic performance of North America and Western Europe.
It is, therefore, not surprising that Europe is keen on maintaining its agricultural sector through protection, while the US is keen on expanding its role in world agricultural markets by subsidising its own farmers and forcing other countries to open up their markets. The problem is that the US has been more successful in prising open developing country markets than the large EU market.
Thus, out of $104 billion worth of exports from North America in 2001, $34 billion went to Asia and $15 billion to Latin America, whereas exports to Europe amounted to $14 billion.
The Cairns group of exporting countries (Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Uruguay), for some of whom at least agricultural exports are extremely important, want world market to be freed of protection as well as the surpluses that result from huge domestic support in the US and the EC.
We must note that $35 billion of the $63 billion of exports from Latin America went to the US and the EU. More open markets and less domestic support in those destinations is, therefore, crucial for the region.
The fact that Europe has been successful in its effort at retaining its agricultural space with the help of a Common Agricultural Policy that both supports and subsidises its agricultural producers is clear from Chart 4, which shows that intra-EC trade which accounted for 74 per cent of EU exports in 1990, continued to account for 73 per cent of total EU exports in 1995 and 2001. #p#分頁標題#e#
But North America, with far fewer countries in its fold, has also been quite insular. Close to a third of North American exports are inter-regional. Little has changed since the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture.
It is widely accepted that three sets of actors account for this failure of the AoA:
First, in order to push through an agreement when there were signs that the Uruguay Round was faltering, the liberalisation of agricultural trade in the developed countries was not pushed far enough;
Second, is the ability to use "loopholes", especially those in the form of inadequately well-defined Green and Blue Box measures, in the AoA, to continue to support and protect farmers on the grounds that such support was non-trade distorting; and
Finally, there are violations of even the lax UR rules in the course of implementation, which have been aided by the failure of the agreement to ensure transparency in implementation.
Not surprisingly, some countries, especially the Cairns group of exporting countries, have proposed an ambitious agenda of liberalisation in the agricultural area.
Tariffs are to be reduced sharply, using the "Swiss formula", which would ensure that the proportionate reduction in the tariffs imposed by a country would be larger, the higher is the prevailing bound or applied tariff in that country.
作者：C. P. Chandrasekhar 、Jayati Ghosh
第一，它現在越來越清楚，那更是在報道比烏拉圭回合談判，達成協議，建立一個地區的農業必然是極為困難的證明。 在農業談判進展的關鍵是說服不相信一個新的`多哈回合談判中對貿易是有益的，可行的。第二，多哈宣言作出承諾的農業談判的一部分單從`要完成2005年1月1日。也就是說，在采取'全有或沒有什么計劃，國家已經達成，并約束，是協議中的所有領域中的談判將要開展的新一輪談判。這意味著，如果協議不能進行農業合作方面，將不會有政權更替的多邊貿易行業管理，服務或相關的領域，外國采購和公共投資在沒有取得任何進展的新領域，如競爭政策，所有其中至為重要，發達國家經濟議程的。點上的因素使這次農業的堅持是多方面的。由于在最后一輪，有一點是一致的貿易體制中的農業發達國家的全球自己在適當的形狀。農產品出口有很大的差異在議程中的美國，凱恩斯集團和歐盟國家內部的發展。當富人和強大的反對，一個全球性的共識是不容易找到。但這還不是全部。即使協議被縫了貧富之間的國家，通過演習，如布萊爾大廈協議，得到了世界各地的去沿著這將是更加困難的時間。這是因為協議開始對農業（農業協定）的成果）在農產品貿易領域實施以來，烏拉圭回合（烏拉圭回合的狀況遠遠沒有達到人們的期望。烏拉圭回合的談判過程中，政權主張烏拉圭回合的承諾，全球生產了調整，將增加世界農產品貿易的價值，以及在發展貿易的增加等國分享 #p#分頁標題#e#
我們必須指出，美元的63美元，出口350億億來自拉丁美洲前往美國和歐盟。進一步開放市場，減少在這些目的地，因此，該地區的國內支持至關重要。鑒于歐洲一直保持與一個共同的農業政策支持和幫助，無論它的農業生產者的補貼，從圖4，這表明內歐共體貿易的占百分之74的農業空間，明確努力成功的事實在1990年歐盟的出口，繼續占歐盟總出口總額在1995年和2001年的百分之七十三。但是北美，在其折疊國家少得多，也比較封閉。接近北美出口的三分之一是跨區域。幾乎沒有改變，因為烏拉圭回合農業協定。它已被廣泛接受，有三個演員設置此帳戶的農產品協議的失?。?br /> 首先，為了推動通過一項協議，當時有跡象表明，烏拉圭回合談判處于動蕩之中，農產品貿易自由化的發達國家沒有將遠遠不夠;
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