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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System

OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Working Papers No. 44:

Regional Trade Agreements - Treatment of Agriculture

by Linda Fulponi, Matthew Shearer, and Juliana Almeida

May 2011

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South-South and Latin American regional trade agreements (RTAs) have made the most progress in eliminating agricultural trade tariffs, according to this study of over 50 such agreements. Agricultural export subsidies are banned in over half the agreements under study, signaling greater trade liberalization in conformity with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). However, traditionally sensitive sectors such as dairy, meat, sugar and cereals are still covered by numerous exemptions and tariff rate quotas (TRQs). This study develops earlier work on the treatment of agriculture in regional trade agreements for Latin America by extending the geographic coverage to Asia Pacific and selected agreements in Africa. It analyses these agreements with respect to market access, subsidies, trade remedies, and requirements relating to sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT).

This paper was published by the OECD and benefited from comments submitted by the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council members.

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