Tag Archives: trade

Does TTIP (and TPP) require TPA?

How important is Trade Promotion Authority to concluding the EU-US free trade area TTIIP negotiations?

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Export refunds and Africa

Commissioner Ciolos’ suggestion that export subsidies should be prohibited in trade agreements with African countries is a limited move but should be adopted.

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Changing patterns of global agrifood trade

Developing countries are now the dynamic motor behind the growth in global agrifood trade.

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WTO EU Trade Policy Review 2013

Latest WTO review of EU trade policy shows marginal fall in average MFN applied tariffs but there are still many tariff peaks.

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How the EU market looks to food exporters

The EU’s tariff regime for agri-food imports is highly discriminatory, intended to benefit developing countries in particular. But tariff barriers are still important for Southern Mediterrananean countries and South Africa.

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New Commission study on impacts of Doha Round

New study suggests the EU along with China would be the major winner from a conclusion of the Doha Round negotiations, with limited impacts expected for EU agriculture.

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Farmers and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

The European Trade Union Confederation has questioned whether farmers should be entitled to support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in the next financial framework period.

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Updated analysis of Commission legislative proposals

Updated and revised analysis of the trade and development implications of the Commission’s legislative proposals published.

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Food for thought against food security concerns

In December 2010, food prices exceeded the dramatic peak they had reached during the global food crisis in 2007/08. But food security is a weak argument for a ‘strong’ CAP.

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The historic roots of agricultural protectionism in Europe

The historical roots of agricultural protectionism in Europe are deep – going back to the 19th century. Agriculture is not special in itself but a classical example of special interests defending their rents to the detriment of collective welfare.

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Lessons from the 2009 EU dairy market crisis

The EU dairy market is now recovering from the severe drop in milk prices in 2009. Perhaps the clearest sign of this recovery is the setting of export refunds on dairy products to zero since mid-November, as world market prices for dairy products have strengthened in recent months. It is thus an opportune time to [...]

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New book reveals extent of ‘box shifting’

When the negotiators in the Uruguay Round of the GATT introduced the concept of the ‘green box’ – farm support measures that are minimally or non-trade distorting and therefore exempt from any limits – few would have foreseen that within 15 years, the bulk of farm support in the developed world would be in the [...]

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UK Tories on a crooked path to protectionism?

I realise that opposition politicians have to say all things to all persons and jump on any bandgwagon that’s going on, but I must say that I found an interview with Nick Herbert, the shadow Defra secretary, in Farmers Weekly a bit disappointing. It remains to be seen whether the MP for Arundel and South [...]

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Can the old policy instruments have any effect?

The resort to intervention buying and export refunds in the dairy sector has been predictably bad PR for the EU, especially in the southern hemisphere. But a more fundamental question is, can these tired old policy instruments work any magic in a deep economic crisis?

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Return of the butter mountain

It was the recession of the 1930s that ushered in agricultural protectionism and subsidies, not least in the United States. Now the European Union has reverted to two of its old favourite policy instruments: intervention buying and export subsidies in the dairy sector just when we thought we had seen the last of them. Stocks [...]

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Food safety rules as protection or protectionism?

SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary standards) barriers figured prominently in the final Agricultural Council of 2008 under the French Presidency. Agricultural Ministers agreed Council Conclusions on the safety of imported agricultural and agri-food products and compliance with Community rules. At the same meeting, EU Farm Ministers rejected a Commission proposal to allow the use of antimicrobial [...]

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Dairy quota row highlights industry divisions

Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel’s proposal for five annual dairy quota increases of 1 per cent each, adopted unchanged by farm ministers, is under attack from two sides. The Commission believes that this is a sure sign that it has negotiated a fair middle path through a morass of conflicting objectives. A less charitable interpretation would [...]

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Do-ha, So-wha’?

The internet silence following the collapse of the Doha Round on 30 July last has been striking. It appears not only the negotiators but also the commentators feel the need for a well-earned August break. In a piece for last Sunday’s Irish Sunday Business Post, I tried to summarise my own views on why the [...]

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The CAP’s ambiguous face to the outside world

The description of a Fortress Europe has often been applied to the CAP. But just as the CAP has undergone significant internal reform since the first faltering steps under Commissioner MacSharry in 1992, there have also been substantial changes to the CAP’s external trade regime. The EU still maintains high tariffs on specific agricultural imports, [...]

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