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RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS: WORKING PAPERS

Non-Reciprocal Preference Erosion Arising From MFN Liberalization in Agriculture: What Are the Risks?

This paper estimates the risk of preference erosion for non-reciprocal preference recipients in the agricultural sector as a consequence of MFN tariff cuts. It is based on a simulation of a single tariff-cutting scenario. The measure of preference erosion risk is the difference in preference margins enjoyed by individual suppliers to the QUAD (Canada, EU, Japan, United States) markets before and after a MFN tariff reduction, multiplied by the associated trade flow. The paper does not attempt to determine how losses in preference margins translate into trade outcomes, but it does highlight which products and which non-reciprocal preference beneficiaries are the most vulnerable to erosion effects in the major developed country markets. Overall, the paper finds that the risk of preference erosion is small, but some countries are strongly affected in particular product lines (notably sugar and bananas).

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No: ERSD-2006-02

Author:

Patrick Low — WTO
Roberta Piermartini — WTO
Jurgen Richtering — WTO

 

Manuscript date: March 2006

 

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This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. This paper represents the opinions of the author, and is the product of professional research. It is not meant to represent the position or opinions of the WTO or its Members, nor the official position of any staff members. Any errors are the fault of the author. Copies of working papers can be requested from the divisional secretariat by writing to: Economic Research and Statistics Division, World Trade Organization, rue de Lausanne 154, CH 1211 Geneva 21, Switzerland. Please request papers by number and title.

Download paper in Word format (48 pages, 1100KB)