Agriculture in the Doha Agenda
30 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: March 27, 2003
Messerlin looks at the OECD domestic political economy associated with ongoing WTO farm negotiations, focusing on the OECD-based coalitions which could be helpful for WTO negotiators. Support from individual final consumers and taxpayers is far from guaranteed because consumers are spending less and less on food, and because taxpayers support, more or less willingly, nontrade concerns, such as environment or food safety, that they tend (wrongly) to associate with domestic farmers. As a result, trade negotiators should look at other allies. A natural candidate is a powerful group of consumers - the agribusiness industries - for which a reduction of the still high protection of their products under the Doha Round requires a corresponding reduction of protection in their farm inputs. They should also talk to farmers, hence sharpen their arguments, in particular by focusing on the distinction between small and large farmers, the latter being by far the main beneficiaries of the current OECD farm protectionist policies.
This paper - a product of Trade, Development Research Group - was prepared for the World Bank Roundtable on Policy Research in preparation for the 5th WTO Ministerial, Cairo, May 20-21, 2002.
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