Opening agricultural markets the key to global trade reform

Two of the most senior trade economists at the World Bank, Kym Anderson and Will Martin, have produced a “Trade Note(World Bank site: PDF file)”:http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTRANETTRADE/Resources/Pubs/TradeNote23.pdf that calls the G-20’s bluff on agricultural reform The Anderson & Martin’s note contains the results of their estimates of the distribution of gains to developed and developing countries of reform in export subsidies, domestic production supports and market access barriers in the Doha Round. Simply put, ninety three percent of the potential gains comes from reducing market access barriers; 2 percent from cutting export subsidies, and; 5 percent comes from cutting domestic supports. The following is extracted from their note. Distribution of global welfare impacts<br/>full liberalization in 2001 (%)
| | |Beneficiary region| |
|Component|High|Developing|World|
| |Income|Countries| |
| |Countries| | |
|Market access|66|27|93|
|Export subsidies|5|-3|2|
|Domestic support|4|1|5|
|All measures|75|25|100|

The G-20, the authors note, has focussed its efforts to date on the elimination of export subsidies because, notoriously, some of its members such as India, have very high market access barriers that they are reluctant to liberalize. There is much more in the four-page Note that is worth reading including some recommendations for the way ahead that note the importance of parallel progress on non-agricultural market access reforms.

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