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The Art of Exceptions: Sensitive Products in the Doha Negotiations

Christophe Gouel (), Cristina Mitaritonna () and Maria Ramos ()

Working Papers from CEPII research center

Abstract: It is necessary for multilateral trade negotiations to include exceptions to accommodate politically sensitive sectors. However, given the highly concentrated distribution of agricultural protection, too many exceptions put at risk the objectives of World Trade Organization. This paper assesses the delicate balance required, based on the case of agricultural trade protection in Europe and Japan, two countries where tariff dismantling in the agricultural sector is a particularly sensitive issue. Since agricultural border protection is heterogeneous, we avoid aggregation bias by extending a multi-country computable general equilibrium model to the product level. This allows us to combine the assets from general equilibrium and partial equilibrium modeling, and to take explicit account of interdependencies and trade policies. The results suggest that consideration of sensitive products strongly limits the potential gains from a possible agriculture agreement at Doha. Moreover, there is no aggregate trade-off between decreasing tariffs and increasing/opening quotas. To achieve “substantial” market access improvements in the agricultural sector, the objective should be most favored nation tariff reduction.

Keywords: Agricultural trade; Doha development agenda; CGE model; Disaggregation; Sensitive products; Tariff-rate quotas (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C68 F13 F17 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
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Journal Article: Sensitive products in the Doha negotiations: The case of European and Japanese market access (2011) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-20

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