Publications

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  • A Short History of U.S. Agricultural Trade Negotiations

    AGES-8923, August 01, 1989

    The U.S. proposal to eliminate domestic farm subsidies worldwide, presented to the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations in 1987, is a significant break with past policies. Trade liberalization has been a U.S. goal since the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934, but, until recently, the United States and many other nations have acted to preserve their own farm subsidies. In the 1980s, slower growth in international farm trade, the threat of trade wars, and higher subsidy costs have led to a reassessment of domestic as well as export subsidies and have created a climate favorable to eliminating subsidies.

  • Bacterial Foodborne Disease: Medical Costs and Productivity Losses

    AER-741, August 01, 1996

    Microbial pathogens in food cause an estimated 6.5-33 million cases of human illness and up to 9,000 deaths in the United States each year. Over 40 different foodborne microbial pathogens, including fungi, viruses, parasites, and bacteria, are believed to cause human illnesses. For six bacterial pathogens, the costs of human illness are estimated to be $9.3-$12.9 billion annually. Of these costs, $2.9-$6.7 billion are attributed to foodborne bacteria. These estimates were developed to provide analytical support for USDA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems rule for meat and poultry. (Note that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii is not included in this report.) To estimate medical costs and productivity losses, ERS uses four severity categories for acute illnesses: those who did not visit a physician, visited a physician, were hospitalized, or died prematurely. The lifetime consequences of chronic disease are included in the cost estimates for E. coli O157:H7 and fetal listeriosis.

  • APEC Agriculture and Trade: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Region Buying More U.S. Consumer-Ready Food Products

    AER-734, September 11, 1996

    In fiscal 1995, more than 60 percent of U.S. farm exports, worth a record $33 billion, went to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum members. Bulk exports showed the most dramatic growth, benefiting greatly from China's conversion from a net grain exporter into a major net importer. Chinese imports are projected to increase further over the long term. Continued trade liberalization throughout APEC, rapid economic growth in its developing economies, and limited arable land in China and East Asia will ensure continued growth in U.S. farm exports to APEC markets-especially meat for East Asia and grains for China and Southeast Asia.

  • The Future of China's Grain Market

    AIB-730, December 23, 1996

    China's demand for grain is likely to outpace domestic supplies in the next 10 years, according to ERS projections. By the year 2005, China will become a net importer of 32 million metric tons of grain annually. In the last two decades, China's grain trade has expanded dramatically, both as a buyer and a seller. Both China and the United States are major grain producers. How the grain trade between the two nations develops will be important to both agricultural economies. It is doubtful that China's farmers will be able to produce enough grain to keep pace with population gains and increased demand for feed grains to produce meat, eggs, and milk products for consumers.

  • International Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2005

    AER-750, May 01, 1997

    This report provides baseline projections for international supply, demand, and trade for major agricultural commodities to 2005. It is a companion report to Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2005, Reflecting the 1996 Farm Act (WAOB-97-1), providing the foreign country detail supporting those projections. Projections of strong global economic growth, particularly in developing countries, combined with more open foreign markets and the emergence of China as a major bulk commodity importer, support strong projected gains in U.S. farm exports. The value of total U.S. agricultural exports is projected to rise from a record $59.8 billion in FY 1996 to nearly $80 billion in 2005. The projections are a conditional scenario, assuming the continuation of 1996 U.S. farm legislation through 2005, no shocks, average weather, and specific macroeconomic and foreign country policy assumptions. The projections were completed based on information available as of January 1997, and reflect a composite of model results and analyst judgment.

  • China International Agriculture and Trade Situation and Outlook 1997

    WRS-973, June 02, 1997

    International Agriculture and Trade Reports are published five times yearly by the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  • Europe International Agriculture and Trade Situation and Outlook 1997

    WRS-97-5, December 01, 1997

    The EU's system of tariff-rate quotas (TRQs)1 that are notified under the Uruguay Round will have only a limited impact on the level of EU imports. EU agricultural imports under its Uruguay Round TRQs are estimated to increase almost $1 billion by 2000/01, the final year of URAA implementation, representing about 2 percent of current agricultural imports. From this standpoint, new EU market access opportunities under the Uruguay Round are limited. In terms of their effects on EU import source, countries of Central and Eastern Europe that concluded Europe Agreements with the EU (CEE-10)2 stand to gain a large share of the new imports created under the TRQs. The CEE- 10 benefit from lower tariffs for most products, while the EU counts imports under the Europe Agreements against the utilization of its Uruguay Round TRQs. The CEE-10 are expected to take greatest advantage of new EU market access for pork and butter, whereas the benefits of new EU market access will likely be spread among a greater number of exporting countries for poultry, cheese, egg products, and skimmed milk powder. U.S. exporters are most likely to be competitive in the EU's TRQs for eggs, egg products, some pork loins, and some cheeses.

  • U.S. Agricultural Growth and Productivity: An Economywide Perspective

    AER-758, January 01, 1998

    Growth of U.S. agriculture is dependent on increases in productivity, three-fourths of which is accounted for by public investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) and infrastructure, according to this research. Productivity growth in U.S. agriculture benefits consumers by putting downward pressure on real primary and processed food prices. Moreover, maintaining export growth in international markets relies on relative productivity growth against major competitors. Public investments in agricultural R&D have stagnated since the mid-1970's, raising questions about sustained productivity growth in U.S. agriculture.

  • Agriculture and European Union Enlargement

    TB-1865, February 01, 1998

    This report documents the modeling framework (European Simulation Model, ESIM) used to analyze the 1992 CAP reform and discusses possible effects of EU enlargement. Potential accession of a number of eastern and central European countries into the European Union (EU) seems destined to lead to further reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The financial costs of absorbing these countries may be extreme.

  • International Agriculture and Trade Report: China, 1998

    WRS-98-3, July 01, 1998

    The Asian financial crisis is pressuring China's economic growth this year. China's labor-intensive export goods are meeting stiff competition from other Asian economies. After averaging 11 percent annually during the past 5 years, China's GDP is expected to drop below the 8-percent target set by the government for 1998. So far, China has resisted pressure to devalue its currency and is investing in its infrastructure sector to stimulate domestic demand.

  • International Agricultural Baseline Projections to 2007

    AER-767, August 01, 1998

    This report provides baseline projections for international supply, demand, and trade for major agricultural commodities to 2007. It is a companion report to USDA Agricultural Baseline Projections, providing the foreign country details supporting those projections. Projections of strong global economic growth, particularly in developing countries, combined with more open foreign markets and the emergence of China as a major bulk commodity importer, support strong projected gains in U.S. farm exports. The value of total U.S. agricultural exports is projected to rise from a record $57.3 billion in FY 1997 to nearly $85 billion in 2007. The projections were completed based on information available as of December 1997, and reflect a composite of model results and analyst judgment.

  • Free Trade in the Americas International Agriculture and Trade Report

    WRS-98-1, November 10, 1998

    An FTAA that eliminates tariffs among the 34 Western Hemisphere countries would benefit the U.S. agricultural sector and the U.S. economy as a whole--if the United States were part of the arrangement. If the other Western Hemisphere countries formed an FTAA without the United States, the impact on the U.S. agricultural sector and the general U.S. economy would be slightly negative. In either case, the expected economic impact of an FTAA on the United States would be very small in the short run (3-5 years), primarily because tariffs in the region are already relatively low and are being further reduced through bilateral and multilateral agreements.

  • Agriculture in the WTO International Agriculture and Trade Report

    WRS-98-4, December 01, 1998

    The Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations continued the process of reducing trade barriers achieved in seven previous rounds of negotiations. Among the Uruguay Round's most significant accomplishments were the adoption of new rules governing agricultural trade policy, the establishment of disciplines on the use of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, and agreement on a new process for settling trade disputes. The latest round also created the World Trade Organization (WTO) to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) as an institutional framework for overseeing trade negotiations and adjudicating trade disputes. Agricultural trade concerns that have come to the fore since the Uruguay Round, including the use of genetically engineered products in agricultural trade, state trading, and a large number of potential new members, illustrate the wide range of issues a new round may face.

  • International Agriculture and Trade Report: NAFTA, 1999

    WRS-99-1, August 02, 1999

    NAFTA is best viewed as a continuing process of economic integration among the three member countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. As NAFTA begins its sixth year, it is clear that the agreement has significantly affected all three countries. At the end of 1998, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico were 47 percent above the pre-NAFTA (1993) level. In 1997 and 1998, U.S. agricultural exports to its NAFTA partners were up 3.3 and 10.0 percent, respectively, compared with exports to the rest of the world, which declined 7.3 and 14.6 percent. From 1993 through 1998 U.S. agricultural imports from Canada and Mexico were up 69 percent, while those from the rest of the world were up 38 percent.

  • The European Union's Common Agricultural Policy: Pressures for Change

    WRS-992, October 01, 1999

    Provision for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was integral to the agreements that established the European Union (EU) and the CAP has been among the most important EU policies administered and funded in common. Revisions or " reforms " of the CAP have been numerous,in response to dramatic changes in agricultural realities and circumstances since the 1960s. This report contends that the continuing need for revision results significantly from the interventionist nature of the CAP, which manages agricultural prices, precluding automatic market-directed adjustments of production and consumption to changing circumstances. Strong vested interests will continue to limit reforms, allowing revisions only when the immediate political costs of not reforming equal or exceed the costs of reform.

  • International Financial Crises and Agriculture

    WRS-99-3, March 01, 2000

    This report focuses on the macroeconomic and financial linkages to agriculture of the international financial crises that occurred in 1997 through early 1999. Particularly, it discusses what brought the affected countries to crisis, how the crisis-led macroeconomic linkages affected agriculture, and how they affected U.S. agricultural trade. The crisis countries examined in this report are Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, and other Latin American countries. The non-crisis countries include China, Japan, Taiwan, and the United States.

  • International Agriculture and Trade Report: China, 2000

    WRS99-4, March 16, 2000

    China's economic growth is slowing, primarily due to reduced domestic consumer demand. Growth in China's gross domestic product dropped to 7.1 percent in 1999, the slowest since 1983. Exports, which had risen 21 percent in 1997 and an astonishing 15.5 percent a year on average during 1980-97, came to a near standstill in 1998 and rose only modestly in 1999. East and Southeast Asian countries, which formerly purchased about 60 percent of China's exports, were hurt severely by the Asian financial crisis. Besides cutting back on their own imports from China, many of these countries devalued their currencies, making their exports more competitive with similar products from China.

  • Food Security Assessment GFA12

    GFA-12, February 26, 2001

    USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) projects that average per capita food consumption for 67 low-income countries will increase in the next decade. ERS also projects that the number of people failing to meet their nutritional requirements will decline from 774 million in 2000 to 694 million in 2010, providing an improved outlook for global food security. But the gains are not uniform across countries and in many food insecurity will probably intensify. Sub-Saharan Africa, as the most vulnerable region, accounts for only 24 percent of the population of these 67 countries, but it is projected to account for 63 percent of these hungry people in 2010. HIV/AIDS is expected to reduce the region's agricultural productivity, and constraints in financial resources will limit commercial imports, thus leading to declining per capita consumption.

  • Issues in Food Security

    AIB-765, April 23, 2001

    Included here are a number of short multidisciplinary issue papers that address how food security in the United States and throughout the world is affected by issues like trade liberalization, income distribution, and natural resources. ERS research shows that more than 800 million people are hungry in 67 lower income countries and even though the number of people affected is expected to decline, the situation may become more severe in the poorer countries. The reasons for food insecurity are many. Noticeably absent from that list, however, is large-scale food scarcity. The growth rate in food production worldwide has surpassed the population growth rate, leading to increased food availability per person. Since 1996, some regions/countries have significantly improved their economic performance and food security situation: several lower income countries in Asia and Latin America are clearly in this group. Sub-Saharan Africa, however, has not seen much progress, nor are its prospects for improvement sanguine. Global trade liberalization is expected to expand market access for the lower income countries and enhance their ability to compete. The multiplicity of forces acting on different nations' prospects for food security means that a broad range of issues must be considered at the global level if countries-and all their households-are to become and remain food secure.

  • Agricultural Policy Reform in the WTO--The Road Ahead

    AER-802, May 15, 2001

    Agricultural trade barriers and producer subsidies inflict real costs, both on the countries that use these policies and on their trade partners. This report quantifies the costs of global agricultural distortions and the potential benefits of their full elimination. The report concludes that eliminating global agricultural policy distortions would result in an annual world welfare gain of $56 billion. The report also analyzes the effects on U.S. and world agriculture if only partial reform is achieved in liberalizing tariffs, tariff-rate quotas (limits on imported goods), domestic support, and export subsidies.