SLI-Report 2002:4

International trade – also for agriculture?

Authors: Helena Johansson  Ingrid Sidenvall 

During the last 50 years, multilateral negotiations have succeeded in reducing trade barriers to industrial goods to very low levels. At the same time, trade barriers to agricultural commodities have remained high in many countries, both developed and developing ones. It is frequently argued that agricultural goods are different from industrial goods, and that this difference justifies a protection of the domestic agricultural sector. In this report, several of the underlying arguments in favour of agricultural protection are scrutinized, and it is investigated whether the pursuit of poverty reduction and food security, concerns for food safety and the environment in combination with the multifunctional character of agriculture undercut the gains that are normally associated with international trade.


Helena Johansson

Ingrid Sidenvall

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