OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers

Selected studies on various food, agriculture and fisheries issues from the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate.

NB. No. 1 to No. 58 were released under the previous series title OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Working Papers.


The Evolution of the Treatment of Agriculture in Preferential Trade Agreements

Preferential trading agreements are becoming a more common feature of the global agro food trading environment, a trend that has increased since the early 2000s. While they increasingly cover the majority of trade worldwide, there remains a question as to the extent to which their treatment of agriculture has changed over time, and whether the liberalising elements contained in these agreements are increasingly addressing distortions in world agro-food markets. This paper presents findings on the evolution of the treatment of agriculture within preferential trade agreements. Changes in various aspects of liberalisation achieved through these agreements have been explored, such as provisions related to market access, export competition and domestic support. The report finds that agriculture appears to be increasingly treated in a similar manner to other goods trade, with expansion in the scope of agreements extending to agriculture. Agreements are delivering reduced tariffs among members across the majority of agricultural commodities – however, heterogeneity of rules of origin between agreements is likely to be undermining these benefits. Reflecting multilateral rules, provisions related to Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and Technical Barriers to Trade have become a standard feature of agreements. Overall, preferential trade agreements are strongly influenced by the multilateral framework.


Keywords: Agricultural trade, regional trade agreements
JEL: F60: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization / Economic Impacts of Globalization: General; F14: International Economics / Trade / Empirical Studies of Trade; Q17: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agriculture in International Trade
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