Trade policy issues in food and agriculture

Annual measurement and monitoring of policy developments, including trade policy, and the medium-term outlook work, together provide the context for the discussion of international trade policy issues in food and agriculture, including comparable “benchmarking” indicators of protection. Despite the enduring difficulties in bringing the Doha Development Agenda negotiations to completion, COAG has continued to promote domestic reforms that are neither production- nor trade-distorting and which would permit beneficial market opening. The 2014 Global Forum on Agriculture reviewed policy settings in depth for key OECD and emerging economies relative to existing and proposed multilateral commitments. Quantitative analysis of the impacts of domestic and trade policy reform are being updated and expanded with a view to informing policy makers about the options available to them and the likely impacts of different reform paths.

New issues have been analysed or old issues subject to innovative analytical approaches. In the wake of the 2007/08 food price crisis, particular attention has been paid to export restrictions with a view to proposing less damaging, alternative policy approaches to mitigate the impact of price peaks on consumers. Agricultural-specific aspects of trade facilitation and of global value chains have begun to be explored. The role of trade in achieving food security has been examined in depth, with methods tailored to the situation in individual countries, mainly in Southeast Asia.

OECD’s Codes and Schemes for International Trade continue to facilitate trade in seeds, tractors and fruits and vegetables and have a widening membership going way beyond the OECD itself. Building on earlier efforts to explore costs and benefits of different kinds of non-tariff measures applied in agricultural trade, the Committee – in collaboration with the Regulatory Policy Committee – is now considering potential pathways for international regulatory co-operation to ease trade flows and lower trade costs.


Related report


OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers