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Research Handbook on the WTO Agriculture Agreement

New and Emerging Issues in International Agricultural Trade Law

Edited by Joseph A. McMahon and Melaku Geboye Desta

Agriculture has been the unruly horse of the GATT/WTO system for a long time and efforts to halter it are still ongoing. This Research Handbook focuses on aspects of agricultural production and trade policy that are recognized for their importance but are often kept out of the limelight, such as the implication of national and international agricultural production and trade policies on national food security, global climate change, and biotechnology. It provides a summary of the state of the WTO agriculture negotiations as well as the relevant jurisprudence, but also, and uniquely, it focuses on the new and emerging issues of agricultural trade law and policy that are rarely addressed in the existing literature.
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Edited by Pierre Sauvé and Martin Roy

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Pierre Sauvé and Martin Roy

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Martin Roy

While greater focus has been cast on analysis of policy changes affecting trade in goods in the aftermath of the financial crisis, little is known about the direction of policies affecting trade in services. On the basis of information contained in the I-TIP Services database, this chapter provides an overview of the evolution of services trade policies since 2000, where policy changes – whether towards more liberalization or more protection – tend to be less easily reversible and to have a greater impact. Has protectionism increased in the aftermath of the crisis? Which countries, sectors and modes of supply have been associated with most trade-facilitating and trade-restrictive measures? The evidence gathered contradicts in many respects basic political economy expectations. Indeed, the countries, sectors and modes of supply where liberalizing and trade-restrictive measures have been implemented are not necessarily those one would have assumed. Most importantly, trade-facilitating measures have clearly outweighed trade-restrictive ones over the recent period, including after the onset of the crisis. This strong push towards autonomous liberalization bodes well for trade negotiations on services. The undertaking of greater commitments would bring benefits by consolidating this recent liberalization and by helping to reduce non-negligible outbursts of protectionism that have been witnessed over the last years. However, bilateral and plurilateral agreements, because of their limited country coverage, would only capture a fraction of the recent autonomous liberalization and, similarly, only help prevent part of the increase in trade-restrictive measures.

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Andreas Maurer, Joscelyn Magdeleine and Rainer Lanz

This chapter traces the evolution of trade and investment patterns in services from 2000 to 2013. As business models and services products are dynamic, statistical concepts need to adapt. The chapter integrates the latest concepts of the Balance of Payments 6th edition (BPM6) and the Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services (MSITS 2010) for manufacturing of inputs owned by others as well as the treatment of intellectual property rights or merchanting of goods. New issues, such as factoryless goods producers or the merchanting of services, are also sketched.Trade in value added statistics suggest that the share of services in world trade is twice as high as conventional statistics show. Aspects of these new approaches to analysing services in manufactured goods trade (servicification) as well as for services fragmentation and resulting networks are described. Beyond, forward-looking issues such as the borderline between goods and services, questions on related market access in a supply chain context, ICT and ICT-enabled services, creative industries and issues around the Shared Economy are elucidated to sketch a roadmap of issues of relevance to further developments of statistical frameworks in services trade.

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Sébastien Miroudot and Ben Shepherd

The chapter builds on recent work measuring trade in value added and developing methodologies for estimating trade costs in order to empirically assess the costs faced by services exporters in the context of global value chains. The chapter first calculates trade costs for intermediate and final services and compares these costs across countries and sectors, as well as with similar costs faced by goods exporters. It then uses these measures of services trade costs along with new policy data from the OECD's Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) to analyze the determinants of trade costs in each instance, and identify policy implications.

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Erik van der Marel

Some countries export services more successfully than others. One important reason for this outcome is that certain countries have developed various underlying economic factors that enable them to become more productive in exporting certain goods (or services) more than others. Over the years, the empirical trade literature has uncovered several of these country-wide economic factors that explain why countries specialize, for example relatively good human capital, a larger pool of ICT capital or strong domestic institutions. This chapter assesses whether factors related to services have any bearing on specialization patterns of countries with respect to trade in goods. In particular, it investigates the relationship between the quality of the regulatory institutions in an economy and liberalization of services markets, which in turn should have an effect on the export of goods that use services as inputs. Indeed, this chapter shows that if the liberalization of services takes place under qualitatively good regulatory institutions, countries in which goods industries source relatively more services from these sectors will see a specialization in these services-dependent goods industries. This amounts to a regulatory comparative advantage.

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Anirudh Shingal

The proliferation of preferential trade agreements in services (services PTAs) and the improved availability of data on bilateral services trade flows have resulted in a growing literature on the theoretical and empirical assessment of services trade effects. However, this literature has not considered the different types of provisions found in services PTAs while estimating trade effects. We address this issue by taking into account the heterogeneity of provisions found in services PTAs. Our results suggest that accounting for this heterogeneity reduces the magnitudes of the estimated trade effects. This finding is robust to estimations involving only positive and those incorporating zero trade flows as well as to sample coverage (all, EU, non-EU, North-North, North-South).

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Sebastián Sáez and Daria Taglioni

Enhancing services competitiveness is important because countries increasingly operate in a context of internationally fragmented models of production. This chapter is a contribution to the empirical literature on services competitiveness and aims to support policymakers to assess how policies may influence the efficiency of services determinants and of services exports, and to address the main policy constraints for the growth and development of trade in services. The chapter provides a framework for conducting an analysis and diagnostics of trade competitiveness of the services sector and provides policy responses to overcome identified constraints.