Finishing Global Farm Trade Reform
Implications for developing countries
by Kym Anderson
FREE | 2017 | Ebook (PDF) | 978-1-925261-35-6 | 144 pp
This report was presented to the World Trade Ambassadors in Geneva in late 2016.
The study reviews policy developments in recent years and, in the light of that, explores ways in which further consensus might be reached among WTO members to reduce farm trade distortions – and thereby also progress the multilateral trade reform agenda. Particular attention is given to ways that would boost well-being in developing countries, especially for those food-insecure households still suffering from poverty and hunger.
The core message from this study is that open agricultural markets maximize the role that trade can play to boost developing country welfare and global food security and ensure the world’s agricultural resources are used most sustainably. Declining costs of trading internationally reinforce that message, with thanks to the information and communication technology (ICT) revolution. As well, the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, once ratified by members over coming months, will add to that lowering of trade costs. If global warming and extreme weather events 15 are to become more damaging to food production as climate change proceeds, that provides all the more reason for countries collectively to open up food markets to allow trade to encourage more production and buffer seasonal yield fluctuations. The more countries do that, the less volatile will be international food prices.
About the author
Kym Anderson is a Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide in South Australia and in the Arndt-Cordon Department of Economics at the Australian National University in Canberra. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute based in Washington DC. He was on extended leave at the Economic Research division of the GATT (now WTO) Secretariat in Geneva during 1990-92 and at the World Bank’s Research Group in Washington DC as Lead Economist (Trade Policy) during 2004-07. During 1996-2008 he served as a panellist on a series of WTO Dispute Settlement panels related to the EU’s banana policy, and in 2008-09 he was an expert witness in the WTO dispute over US cotton policies. Anderson has published around 400 articles and 40 books. His publications have received a number of awards from professional organisations, including the Australian, European and American Agricultural and Applied Economics Associations. In 2015 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).