All entries for Saturday 16 April 2005

April 16, 2005

Blurred Truth of Agricultural Trade

In keeping with the theme of the 2005 Global Week of Action, below are 6 trade fallacies as regards agricultural goods highlighted by of Arvind Panagariya from Columbia University, found via Adamsmithee. The paper was an interesting read given that I hadn't heard the issues addressed before.

  1. Agricultural border protection and subsidies are largely a developed-country phenomenon
  2. Developed-country agricultural subsidies and protection hurt the poorest developing countries most
  3. Developed-country subsidies and protection hurt the poor, rural households in the poorest countries
  4. Developed-country agricultural protection and subsidies constitute the principal barrier to the development of the poorest developing countriesing.
  5. Agricultural protection reflects double standard and hypocrisy on the part of the developed countries
  6. What the donor countries give with one hand (aid), they take away with the other (farm subsidies). In effect, the benefits of aid to the poorest countries are more than offset by the losses from the developed-country subsidies

The full paper, with an elaboration of each point can be accessed here. Panagariya doesn't defend the actions of the West across the board, but makes worthwhile points for those who claim that “protectionism and subsidies constitute the principal barriers to the development of Africa; and that the developed-country protection in agriculture is the result of their hypocrisy and wickedness.”


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