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Draft Paper – Not to be cited without author’s permission

by a large number of farmers—typically but not just peasants—who produce for their domestic markets and whose livelihood is severely impaired by dumping, and a far smaller number of wealthier farmers who produce for export and who stand to gain from greater market access and cuts in subsidies in the North Thus the Via Campesina accuses many Southern governments of pandering to tiny but wealthy and politically powerful agroexport elites when they give up on anti- dumping controls in exchange for Northern concessions on market access and

subsidies. A critical mechanisms that cause more recent academic

issue concerning dumping has to do with the specific it. While subsidies may have driven dumping in the past, studies suggest that market concentration is far more

important today in keeping crop and livestock prices years a few companies have come to buy the bulk

down. Over the

past twenty

of what farmers

produce in

each of many key commodities, and they use their market power to keep they pay as low as possible, enabling them to turn around and dump products in foreign markets at prices below the cost of production.

the the

price same

Market Concentration If we are serious about addressing the problems associated with dumping then this issue—not currently on the negotiation table—

will need to be addressed. date governments have not trade.

Farmer organizations seriously addressed it

are clear on this point, but to in the context of agricultural

Special and Differential Treatment/Special Safeguards

Most governments in

the South argue that the WTO has not lived up to the commitment in its charter to make “positive efforts” to ensure that developing countries, and especially the poorest countries, known collectively as the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), receive some benefit from the global trading system. They demand that poor countries receive “special” and “differential” treatment to compensate for their disadvantages. The G-33 countries call for what used to be a “Development Box,” which is the ability for poorer countries to designate “Special Products” (SPs) whose protection from cheap imports is critical for economic and rural development, food security and anti-poverty objectives. They would not be required to cut tariffs on such agricultural products. They also call for a “Special Safeguard Mechanism” (SSM), which would allow them invoke special tariffs if there were major import surges in any product, “special” or not, that threatened their domestic economy. The G-90 countries, a coalition of African, Caribbean, Pacific and LDC countries, support the G-33 position on SP/SSM, and also the G- 20 position on market access and Northern subsidies. The US and EU, along with a number of others, already have access to a special safeguard – while most developing countries do not currently have this right. The US would not fight to

continue

this

provision,

but

won’t

give

it

up

unless

it can

use

it

as

a

bargaining

chip to gain advantage elsewhere. Development Box or SP/SSM position

Farmer organizations for being too weak, and

criticize the for essentially

accepting the trade liberalization paradigm, albeit with some fine tuning.

10

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