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The Benefits of a New WTO Agreement for Agri-food Trade Shiferaw Adilu Alberta Agriculture and Food.

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Presentation on theme: "The Benefits of a New WTO Agreement for Agri-food Trade Shiferaw Adilu Alberta Agriculture and Food."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Benefits of a New WTO Agreement for Agri-food Trade Shiferaw Adilu Alberta Agriculture and Food

2 Background Alberta accounts for 10 percent of Canadas population and 16 percent of its GDP (2006). The agri-food industry is a significant contributor of the provinces GDP and employment. Food and beverage manufacturing shipments account for 15% of the provinces total manufactured goods. Alberta accounts for over a fifth of Canadas agri-food sector. The largest cattle population (39%) The majority of slaughtering (60%) Over 36% of grain production (wheat, barley and canola seed)

3 The Importance of Trade The majority of Albertas agri-food sectors are highly trade dependent. Alberta accounts for over a fifth of Canadas agri-food exports. Primary agriculture exports $3.1 billion (2006) or 45% of market cash receipts Value added processed $2.8 billion (2006) or 31% of total market cash receipts While the US is the largest trading partner, 55% of Albertas agri-food exports go to over 140 countries around the world.

4 The Importance of Trade, Contd Canada is a trading nation –Trade and investment are the main drivers of the economy. Export value equivalent of 34% of GDP (2005). Fifth largest exporter and importer of merchandize trade after the EU, US, China and Japan The fourth largest exporter and fifth largest importer of agri-food products Has one of the lowest tariffs overall.

5 The Benefits of Trade Liberalization CUSTA (1989): Canadas agri-food exports to the US grew by 347% or 9% per year. Canadas exports to the ROW grew by 88% or 3.8% per year. NAFTA (1994): Canadas agri-food exports to Mexico grew by 364% or 13% per year. Canadas exports to the ROW grew by 84% or 4.8% per year. Results for Alberta are as impressive.

6 The Benefits, Contd Currently, Albertas major agri-food exports face some of the highest tariffs around the world. Frozen meat: 91%, Fresh meat: 85%, Prepared meat:80% Grain products: 76% Certain grains and their products such as barley and malt face tariffs rates in the hundreds in some important markets. Substantial reduction in tariffs and trade distorting agricultural support and elimination of export subsidies is estimated to bring billions of dollars benefit for Canadas agri-food economy.

7 The DDA The Uruguay Round was more important in bringing agriculture to the multilateral rules based system than the actual discipline it put on agricultural subsidies and tariffs. The Doha Round is historically destined to deliver on actual agricultural trade liberalization. This round, if concluded successfully, will also deliver on significant trade liberalization on services and manufactured products.

8 What is in the Chairs Modalities text? The proposed tariff and domestic support reduction could provide a sound basis for negotiating an ambitious outcome. Global average bound agricultural tariff was around 80% when the Uruguay Round agreement was signed. It was brought down to 62% at the end of the implementation period. Under Falconers modalities it could be lowered to roughly 34%. Significant even though a long way from catching up with industrial tariffs.

9 The Chairs Modalities text, Contd The elimination of export subsidies for good. Substantial reduction in trade distorting support. EU OTDS lowered to 16.5 – 27.5 billion euro US OTDS lowered to billion dollars Despite significant reforms of the CAP in the past, the proposed modalities would require the EU to make further reforms. The proposed limit for US overall trade distorting support would put significant constraints on its amber and overall trade distorting support.

10 The Chairs Modalities text, Contd Ambition depends not only on the tariff and domestic support reduction formulas, but also on restricting exemptions and exceptions. Sensitive products, SPs, SSG and SSM in market access. Product-specific disciplines in domestic support Study by the WB shows that an exemption of even a small fraction of tariff lines or products from tariff reduction commitment would shrink potential gains significantly.

11 Challenges The benefits of trade are not under question mark. So cannot be the benefits of trade liberalization. Varying projections about the benefits of trade liberalization but the conclusion is the same. Trade creates opportunities for many and pose adjustment challenges for some. Benefits are diffused among a larger population while adjustment challenges are concentrated.

12 Challenges, Contd Agricultural support and protectionism is a political problem requiring a political solution. The need for political commitment Recent APEC Statement on the WTO. Canadas Prime Minister recent remark on the Doha round negotiations: Aim high so that the winners are obvious in every country The role of senior officials and negotiators What is on the table is substantial; differences appear bridgeable.

13 Challenges, Contd Single undertaking? Time factor?

14 Alternative to Success? Bilateral/regional FTAs? Dispute settlement?

15 Thank You

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