Integration and regulations for a net food exporting country

Date and Time

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 12:45 to 13:45

Event type

Seminar

Location

Upper Meeting Room, LIDC, 36 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

Speaker

David Adamson, University of Queensland

Speaker bio

David Adamson is currently visiting the Royal Veterinary College to collaborate on the Trans-Domain COST-Action project titled ‘Network for Evaluation of One Health’. He is normally found in at The University of Queensland (UQ), playing in the School of Economics. David is an agricultural/resource economist who has a history of tinkering around to see how decision makers respond to risk and uncertainty derived from issues such as climate change, water resources and biosecurity. David’s visit is being funded by an Australian Government’s Endeavour Research Fellowship and a Research Fellowship from the Australian Institute for Business and Economics. He is an Affiliate of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, listed as a member of UQ’s Global Change Institute’s College of Experts, and has been the President of the Queensland’s Branch of the Australian Agricultural & Resource Economics Society (AARES) since 2013.

Abstract

Over 70% of Australia’s agricultural income is derived from exports. While the trade of surplus agricultural production is regarded as a cornerstone in economic development, the world food market remains tightly regulated and protected. With on-going protectionism and the Doha Round failing to reach any consensus on agriculture at a multilateral scale, countries have been engaging in bilateral and plurilateral agreements (agreements) to bypass the impasse.

In Australia’s case these side agreements tend to lock-in some notional improvement in market access or reductions in import tariffs at some point in the distant future, which appear to reward protectionism. Additionally these agreements aim to rapidly harmonise regulations between economies, in order to increase economic integration. However, a combination of fixed time constraints and with the negotiations being invisible to the public, the chance of adverse outcomes derived from agreements increase. Negative outcomes can be either: unintended where neither party were aware of the outcome; or derived from a deliberate strategy where one country aims to gain rent at the other party/ies expense. The paper explores the consequences of a deliberate strategy being played from a country with either a large or small domestic economy. The talk provides the example of BSE and widens the discussion along public health lines associated with antimicrobial registration and Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) procedure.