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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