The US-EU joint paper[⇒ related story] has provoked others into trying their hand at a new approach to a WTO deal on reforming world agricultural trade. Look for a paper in the next day or so from India, China and Brazil that * calls for the elimination of export subsidies
* cracks-down on domestic support payments like those in the US Farm Bill of 2002
* but goes soft on access to markets Unfortunately, neither Brazil nor India has a strong record in opening their own agriculture markets. Brazil has an average agricultural tariff of about 35% with 96% of its agricultural tariffs higher than 15%. Almost half of India’s agricultural tariff lines are above 100%. China reckons that it has already made its contribution by its agreement to open markets during its negotiations to join the WTO. These are nonetheless some heavy-hitters in the political economy of the world trading system. Their proposals will carry weight in the final mix, whatever that turns out to be. Another attempt at a ‘compromise’ from the negotiating group Chairman? Possibly.
But considerable confusion ahead… ? Certainly.
Peter Gallagher is student of piano and photography. He was formerly a senior trade official of the Australian government. For some years after leaving government, he consulted to international organizations, governments and business groups on trade and public policy.
He teaches graduate classes at the University of Adelaide on trade research methods and the role of firms in trade and growth and tweets trade (and other) stuff from @pwgallagher