AgriculturalTariffRateQuotas: Impacts on MarketAccess
The 1994 Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA) set new rules for trade in agricultural products and initiated a modest reduction in protection (Anania et.al.). However, agriculture is still facing significant trade restrictions and there is much to be done to future liberalize trade in this industry. The current (Doha) round of the WTO was launched in 2001, and so far has made little or no progress in moving towards freer trade in agriculture. The massive subsidies and trade barriers in OECD countries undercut the fledgling agricultural sectors in developing countries and helps keep poor countries poor. For example, the 2002 US Farm Bill increased, rather than decreased, agricultural subsidies in the United States. This is all very discouraging.
Aware that it can rarely compete in the exports of bulk agricultural products, Europe is reorienting its agricultural sector. Support linked to the quantity of production is thus abandoned in favour of less intensive quality production. As a consequence, the EU will weaken its position as a major exporter in a number of basic products. The EU, however, will increase its competitiveness in some sectors, due to the price effect on inputs and the changes in the relative prices of products that the reforms will cause. A reform of the sugar regime will have strong implications for exporters to the EU with zero tariff preferential access, not as an export opportunity, but rather as a large revenue loss, as an increase in marketaccess is linked to drastic cuts in the internal price of sugar and thus lowering benefits of trading with the EU. Without incorporating the CAP implications and the possible alternative WTO agreements, any study would under- or overestimate impacts for the countries with preferential access.
increased. The figures are interpreted as showing, for example, that of all imports of live animals and meat from developing countries in 1997, 61 per cent entered under TRQ arrangements.
Overall, around 10 per cent of developing country agricultural exports to the EU entered under TRQs. This was only a slightly smaller proportion than for developed countries in 1997 although the difference is not a significant one. These figures are based on actual in-quota imports and are thus influenced by differences in fill rates between developing and developed country suppliers for bilateral quotas. There are particularly high shares of TRQs in total trade for meat imports from non-LDC ACP countries and for sugar imports from ACP and Latin American sugar exporters. These are current accessquotas, opened specifically to benefit the developing country recipients. The remaining developing country exports entered under MFN tariffs (which might be zero) or benefited from preferences under GSP, Lomé or preferential trade agreements. With just 10 per cent of their exports covered by TRQs, and with some quota levels clearly binding, there is scope to benefit developing countries by a further extension of the volumes and commodities covered by TRQs. Expansion of the sugar and meat TRQs would likely lead to increased export volumes, while expansion of TRQs for fruit and vegetables, cereals and other processed foods could lead to either increased volume or increased rents, depending on whether existing trade is deflected through TRQ channels or not. Thus, the evidence from the EU market suggests that increasing TRQs could be an important means of improving marketaccess for developing country exporters.
Despite having more than 200 parentheses or options to resolve the re- vised text in early 2008, the first draft comprehensively deals with pending is- sues and provides a basis for concluding the talks. It tables workable rules on three pillars, marketaccess, domestic support and export competition such that member countries are able to weigh the balance of commitments and the extent of reforms to make.
Brazil benefits less from this system for two reasons. On one hand, the products on which its com- parative advantages are more important are excluded from the European preferences. On the other hand, Brazil is more affected than Argentina by the system of "graduation" of the GSP. This system of graduation aims at distributing the benefits of the preferences on a broad number of developing countries. It thus excludes the countries which are particularly competitive on a given product, in order to prevent them to supply the European market alone. Thus it is nearly 800 million dollars of Brazilian exports which, although they are eligible to the GSP, do not benefit from the preferential access because of the graduation. The quantity is much weaker for Argentina. The EU took recently provisions to prevent that the graduation was applied to countries suffering from an economic crisis and which flows are lower than 1% of the European imports. This allows Argentina to keep this preferential access in spite of the high competitiveness of its exports.
The adoption of a tariffs-only approach for agriculture was a sweeping reform that went a long way toward subjecting agricultural trade to the same disciplines applied to other traded goods. However, many authors have pointed out that the URAA agreement achieved only minor reductions in protection (Hathaway and Ingco, 1995; Tangermann, 1995, Wainio et al, 1998). One of the reasons for this conclusion is the rather lax method of conversion of non-tariff measures into their tariff equivalents. Furthermore, it is also often pointed out that Member countries were allowed a significant flexibility in the allocation of tariffrate cuts. For instance, the tariff cutting formula was based on a simple average, thus by making rather large percentage cuts in low tariffs, or in tariffs for commodities that do not compete with domestic production, countries could meet the overall 36% average objective with only minimal cuts in politically sensitive tariffs (Josling and Tangermann, 1995). In the new WTO negotiations on agriculture, then, there is ample room for further tariff reductions and improved transparency of tariff commitments.
There also remain a number of practical issues to be resolved concerning the provision of Sensitive Products, although much of the remaining detail on this issue is also of a highly technical nature. Sensitive Products will be subject to a lesser reduction than that required by the tiered formula, although there has been no agreement on how much less. It also remains to be determined how this lesser reduction will be “paid for” by Members. The July 2004 Framework agreement (WTO 2004) states that a “substantial improvement” in marketaccess for Sensitive Products will be achieved through a combination of tariff quota commitments and tariff reductions. This may result in the creation of new tariffquotas, although it has also been proposed that. in some cases the reduced tariff cut on the Sensitive Product might be implemented over a shorter period, or the full cut implemented over a longer period, in lieu of a quota commitment. Negotiators are now considering numerous technical approaches to deal with tariff lines without existing quotas which may be designated as Sensitive Products. In addition to technical issues, there are the practical ones of whether the quota will be available on a MFN basis, whether the quota administration method will be circumscribed in some way, and whether the in-quota tariff will be bound at zero or left for Member’s to set at a level low enough to allow the quota to fill as was supposed to have been done with the Uruguay Round tariffquotas.
The estimated models of this study are used to assess the results of China’s WTO accession on agri-food trade between the EU and China. Accession to the WTO means a transformation of all China’s existing non-tariff barriers to bounded tariffs and tariffratequotas, and it is expected that this will greatly improve marketaccess for EU agri-food exports to the Chinese market. As tariff and non-tariff restrictions are sharply reduced, the costs of exporting to China will be less. The results confirm that China’s tariff reductions could eventually increase EU agri-food exports to China quite substantially, with barley and rape oil exports gaining the most. The path to a new steady-state solution was found to depend on the dynamics underlying the production and consumption responses to the price changes.
Agriculturalmarketaccess is a highly controversial issue in the current WTO policy debate. Ac- cording to the latest proposals of the EU, the USA, the G-20 and the G-33 1 the positions on mar- ket access differ strongly and thus the success of the upcoming Hong Kong negotiations is evi- dently put at risk. The most contentious issues concerning marketaccess are: Which magnitude should the tariff cuts have? What kind of tiered formula should be implemented? Should tariffs be cut at a maximum level? How should the number and width of tariff bands be handled? Should there be flexibility within the tariff bands? How many products should be defined as sen- sitive? Which degree of Special Differential Treatment (SDT) should be imposed? How should TariffRateQuotas (TRQs) be handled? The answers to theses questions will determine the mag- nitude of the marketaccess of the prevailing WTO member countries which is accordingly still a moving target in the WTO negotiations.
Bureau and Tangermann examined how the European Union (EU) implemented its TRQ system on 87 agricultural products. They found that about 60 percent of the TRQs related to minimum access, while the remainder related to current access. The TRQ usually provides continued access on a bilateral basis for exporters who in the past have enjoyed preferential access to the EU. The authors noted that the EU chose to administer its TRQs in a way that neither discouraged imports nor improved economic efficiency. The most common methods of TRQ administration were licenses on demand, historical allocation, and first-come first-served basis. It was noted that fill rates have been quite high for most TRQs, and there was no evidence that the EU managed TRQs in such a way as to discourage marketaccess. The TRQ system accounted for most of the increased access to the EU market after the URAA. Bureau and Tangermann concluded that in terms of further trade liberalization, increasing quota volumes in the EU would likely result in more gains than reductions in tariffs.
Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy 23 allocations. Larger import quotas will allow importers to reap the benefits of economies of scale and encourage imports from countries disadvantaged due to high transportation costs. In addition, the existing mechanism can be simplified by reviewing the rules on tradability of import licences and the resale of import quota rights, which at present affect the importers’ incentives to utilize TRQs. To ensure that there is no hoarding of import quotas for rent seeking, it is suggested that the resale of unused import quota licences be monitored periodically. This is particularly relevant in cases when LD and HI are used to manage imports. Under the LD method, there can be a strong incentive for importers to overstate their demand for import licences and earn rents from resale of quota rights in the secondary market (from those importers who are not allocated the licence to import). Similarly, under HI, since new importers can only gain entry to the market by participating in imports, new entrants have to purchase import rights from the secondary market to be eligible for licence allocation in the following year. Rents are another issue that needs to be addressed. Regular monitoring of the resale of import quota rights will provide information on import needs misrepresentation and will minimize rent seeking. This can be made operational by requiring an importer to submit a security deposit in proportion to the quota quantity allocated. In the event of lower imports without any valid reason, the deposit may be forfeited. Longer validity of import quotas is also proposed, as this will allow importers adequate time to plan imports from low-cost suppliers and reap the benefits of economies of scale. To make this suggestion operational, authorities can consider allocating a certain percentage of yearly import quotas (which can be 80 percent of last year’s imports) at the beginning of the administered period, with an indication of the tentative imports subject to revisions in the final import quantities during the administered period. Finally, auctions are proposed as a method by which to manage TRQs. 29 The rationale for this suggestion is that auctions reveal information on the binding level of import quotas as well as serve as the basis for establishing an equivalent tariff. This is substantiated by white wine TRQ auctions in Switzerland during 1997-2000 (Jörin & Lengwiler, 2003). 30 It is expected that employing auctions will provide a good starting point for gradual liberalization of existing protection levels.
The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA) is regarded by many econo- mists as a major progress in the international debate on trade liberalization. In all ear- lier rounds under GATT, there had been the intention to liberalize agricultural trade but it had never been successful prior to the finalization of the URAA in 1994. The major policy decisions of the URAA include (i) the tariffication of nontariff barriers, (ii) the re- duction of the level of agricultural protection in stages between 1995/1996 and 2000/01, (iii) the reduction of agricultural subsidies, and (iv) the setting of a minimum access to the domestic agricultural markets of WTO members. With the decision on tariffication, important nontariff barriers in agriculture, like variable import levies are prohibited. Given this background, international organizations like OECD stress that the number of nontariff barriers has declined strongly since 1994 (OECD 1997, Table 8.1). There is the general impression by many economists that the decline in the level of protection was not yet very strong, but that the URAA was the first important step to- wards a further reduction of trade distortions (JOSLING, TANGERMANN 1999). The actual liberalization steps, however, are combined with some substantial new non- tariff trade barriers, at least if we define nontariff barriers meaningfully in economic terms. This point has been unobserved in the general economic debate and has only been discussed in detail by some agricultural economists. In some cases, no real tarif- fication did occur as in the case of the EU grain policy (THOMPSON, HERRMANN, GOHOUT 2000). More importantly, the URAA has led to a very large number of tariffratequotas (TRQs) (SKULLY 1999a, BOUGHNER, DE GORTER 1999). Many coun- tries including the EU and the US introduced quotas besides the bound tariffs to fulfil the minimum access rule. Tariffication and quotification occured simultaneously. In many cases, there is considerable "water in the tariff" and the quota component is bind- ing. Quota rents occur then like under traditional nontariff barriers, although TRQs are counted like tariffs under the WTO rules.
Compared to the reduction of China’s trade distortions, the labor market reforms investigated in scenarios LABOR and LAND generally have larger impacts on welfare, GDP and other macroeconomic aggregates. This reflects the large, and persistent, rural-urban distortions in China’s labor markets. It is evident from the last two columns of Table 4 that both of the factor market reforms serve to increase migration out of the relatively low productivity agricultural sector, into the higher productivity non-agricultural sectors, and from the rural to urban economy. In the case of land reform, 13.2 million additional workers leave agriculture when they are assured of retaining land ownership in the wake of migration (LAND scenario, final column, row Farm Labor, in Table 4). These individuals migrate initially to the off-farm rural labor market, which in turn releases an additional 12.1 million temporary rural migrants to the urban sector in order to restore equality in rural and urban wages, net of transactions costs. The release of workers from agriculture tends to depress wages in the rural, non-farm economy, where wages fall by 3.9 percent in the case of land reform. This wage drop plays a role in dampening out-migration from agriculture.
provisions in the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 are strong. The Victorian law is, however, very much the exception in a growing trend.
Why Keep Conscientious Objection?
Given the trend towards gradually curtailing the right to conscientiously object in numerous countries, a question worth posing is why conscientious objection should be maintained at all. If it does have the potential to compromise access to legal ser- vices such as abortion, then the simplest solution would seem to be to eliminate conscientious objection altogether. The numerous commentators we have cited who describe conscientious objection in disparaging terms [ 19 , 53 ] certainly imply this is their preference—and some explicitly call for its removal altogether [ 18 , 51 ]. Doing so would avoid any economic investment and the resources required to establish the quota system that we propose. As an anonymous reviewer suggests, it may be that the resources required for these activities could be better spent on actual healthcare provision. Similarly, Schuklenk and Smalling state that there is no reason that ‘any healthcare system should burden itself, and ultimately patients, with these sorts of logistical problems when there is an obvious, more efficient alternative: saying no to the conscience-based accommodation requests of healthcare professionals’ [ 54 ].
identify factors that facilitated or hindered the farmers in the transition to organic farming. The actors were also able to express their desire that scientific experiments be conducted in closer collaboration with farmers for improving their effectiveness. Furthermore, the evaluation revealed that researchers were too optimistic about the adoption and use of their research by the beneficiaries. It showed that while the research had positive effects, its influence was not very significant since other important factors (institutional framework, economic and political factors, etc.) also played a role. The research community has begun to take these elements into consideration. For example, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and the French Rice Centre have initiated deeper discussions on how to work together with farmers and involve them more in defining goals and in implementing research activities, especially in terms of experimenting with agricultural practices.
range between -0.06 and -0.17 for major field crops and livestock products (Table 2). This is reasonable given that the elasticities for U.S. dollar commodity prices with respect to global exchange rate changes are typically estimated between -0.5 and -0.8. MacDonald and Seeley found global elasticities for corn, soybeans, and wheat of -0.6, -0.7, and -0.8, respectively. Batten and Belongia (1986) found a real agricultural export value elasticity of -0.7; Krissoff and Morey (1986) found similar price elasticities; Gilbert (1989) suggested that -0.6 to -0.8 was appropriate for price elasticities; Orden and Fackler (1989) found an agricultural price elasticity of -0.9; and, Borzensztein and Reinhart (1994) found -0.6 for commodity prices in general. While China is the largest producer and consumer of a number of agricultural products, it still only accounts for about 20 percent world production and consumption of corn and rice, and considerably less for other commodities. Therefore, elasticities about one-tenth the response to a global exchange rate change are reasonable.
From the farmer’s side, Government intervenes directly in the provision of production factors, mainly during the establishment face (in its framework of support for previously disadvantaged farmers). This is particularly true in the case of the land reform beneficiaries. For example, regarding the citrus sector where a great majority of the farms involving small-scale growers (See the Winterveld and Letsitele cases) results from land reform: on 68 citrus farms incorporating small-scale growers documented by the CGA, 21% are on state land that has been redistributed or resituated to local communities, 18% are on an equity shares or joint venture models (i.e. private farm which capital has been sold to former farm workers through land reform), 12% are owned by the Land Bank, and only 3% are on private free-hold land tenure. In addition, small farmers engaging in contracts also accessed public funding and loans from institutions such as the Land Bank, through micro-finance programmes (MAFISA for land reform beneficiaries, but also others programmes for black farmers implemented by the National and Provincial DAFF), or the CASP (which provides grants for infrastructural development during the settlement phase). Furthermore, farmers can also benefit from technical support and capacity building facilities. As such, they can benefit from the industry focused farmers’ training programmes, the training of black farmers in agricultural marketing programmes, and programmes to strengthen compliance and implement national regulations to ensure compliance with plant and animal health, bio-safety and bio-security regulations, and the effective regulation of agrochemicals. These public supports all fulfill government’s social, economic, and political objectives to promote the previously disadvantaged farmers, even though the system and the institutions providing them are often riddled with recurrent failures and have been severely criticized for not carrying out these operations with sufficient technical and primary institutional systems.
Furthermore, the commercial farming was devel- oped in a way as to provide for the entire domestic agricultural production (Lipton and Lipton 2004), leaving the non-white small scale farming as an un- important side sector that got none if any attention from the state. Lack of support in the non-white small scale farming was visible through the poor infrastructure and limited programs for training or mentoring in order to position these farmers towards improvement and transition into commercial farm- ing. This type of model in itself was not sustainable in the long term. As a result, the small scale farming was underdeveloped (Lipton and Lipton 2004) and most of its produce was not meant for the markets. As most production did not make it to the market, it is possible to assume that the quality of the produce did not matter because inputs are also of less quality. Through laws such as the Natives Land Act, No 27 of 1913 3 and the Natives (Urban Areas) Act of 1923 4 ,
“To that point, the nation’s food security will be his top prior- ity upon taking office, and IDFA offers our partnership in finding creative ways to reduce hunger and improve access to nutritious foods including dairy,” Dykes continued. IDFA looks forward to work- ing with Vilsack and his team “to make dairy central to solutions. Together, we can enhance eco- nomic progress for food produc- ing communities and strengthen export opportunities, unleash innovation to safeguard our food and advance nutrition solutions, and create a more sustainable foot- print for our food and agriculture sector,” Dykes added.