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WTO agreement on agriculture: a decade of dumping  [2005]

S. Murphy; B. Lilliston; M. Lake;

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This paper documents the widespread dumping of agricultural products by global agribusiness companies based in the United States and European Union. It provides an extensive appendix with data and calculations from 1990 to 2003 for five commodities grown in the U.S. and sold on the world market: wheat, corn (maize), soybean (soya), rice and cotton.An examination of U.S. government data indicates that since the WTO began, U.S.-based companies have engaged in steady, high levels of agricultural dumping in their global sales of the five most exported commodities. The paper uses the latest figures on agricultural dumping by U.S. agribusiness to illustrate the need for immediate action at the international level. Initial steps identified include:The elimination of visible export subsidies, as well as the establishment of strong disciplines on export credits and program food aid, as quickly as possibleA commitment from exporting countries to keep products priced below the cost of production out of world marketsThe publication of annual full-cost of production estimates for OECD countries. To fully address agricultural dumping, governments must develop a more thorough and transparent methodology to measure the problem and make the relevant data publicly available within six months of the close of the fiscal year.Agreement on strong international rules to prohibit restrictive business practices among the oligopolies that dominate trade in most agricultural commodi
ties.In the longer term, governments must again turn their attention to the need for global commodity agreements that manage the supply-side problems.