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Trade composition effects of the EU tariff structure: beef imports from Mercosur

Maria Ramos (), Jean-Christophe Bureau and Luca Salvatici ()

European Review of Agricultural Economics, 2010, vol. 37, issue 1, 1-26

Abstract: The EU tariff schedule includes many specific and composite tariffs as well as tariff-rate quotas (TRQs). Hence, different patterns of trade liberalisation might have different consequences for both producers and consumers through changes in the composition of trade. We illustrate the issues at stake in the beef sector, focusing on Mercosur exports to the EU. We model import demand for different qualities in the presence of TRQs and derive comparative static results showing the consequences of different patterns of bilateral and multilateral trade liberalisation. If the EU treats beef as a 'sensitive product' in a possible WTO Doha Round Agreement, imports would be lower, despite the accompanying TRQ expansion, than with larger tariff cuts. TRQ expansion would, however, increase the high-quality bias in beef imports and welfare losses, whereas a cut in the specific tariff would reduce this bias. Oxford University Press and Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics 2010; all rights reserved. For permissions, please email journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2010
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European Review of Agricultural Economics is currently edited by Christoph Weiss, Thomas Heckelei and Paolo Sckokai

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