Expansion of Commercial Trade in Agricultural Products

  • T. E. Josling


Progress in reorganising the world market for temperate-zone agricultural products has come to be seen as a political necessity if the international trading system is to continue to develop in the interests of peace and prosperity. It also holds out the possibility for considerable economic advantage to both industrial and developing countries. A recent study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has attempted to estimate the loss in income resulting from agricultural protectionism. The study puts this loss at about 6 per cent of the income of less developed countries (see Table I).1 From a narrower point of view, the United Kingdom has an interest in promoting, within Western Europe, sensible and responsible policies in the area of agricultural trade.


Trade Liberalisation Reference Price Common Agricultural Policy Export Subsidy Target Price 
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  1. 3.
    How the CAP might operate in the United Kingdom, following the European Community’s enlargement, is described in John Marsh and Christopher Ritson, Agricultural Policy and the Common Market (London: Royal Institute of International Affairs, and Political and Economic Planning, 1971). For an analysis of the international transfer of funds inherent in the CAPGoogle Scholar
  2. 3.
    see T. E. Josling, Agriculture and Britain’s Trade Policy Dilemma, Thames Essay No. 2 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See John Ferris et al., The Impact on US Agricultural Trade of the Admission of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and Norway to the European Community (East Lansing: Institute of International Agriculture, 1972).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    For an analysis of the income-distribution effects of the deficiency-payments system of farm support in the United Kingdom, and of the effects on income distribution that might be expected on shifting to the European Community’s variable import-levy system, see Josling and Donna Hamway, “Distribution of Costs and Benefits of Farm Policy”, in Josling et al., Burdens and Benefits of Farm-Support Policies, Agricultural Trade Paper No. I (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1972).Google Scholar
  5. Also see James T. Bonnen, “The Distribution of Benefits from Selected US Farm Programs”, and Vernon C. McKee and Lee M. Day, “Measuring the Effects of US Department of Agriculture Programs on Income Distribution”, in the President’s National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty, Rural Poverty in the United States Report (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1969), pp. 461–505 and 506–21 respectively.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    This proposal differs from that proposed in Denis Bergmann et al., A Future for European Agriculture (Paris: Atlantic Institute, 1970), which argued for subsidies specific to farmers rather than tied to production. But that would entail a major change in the principles of the CAP.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    The FAO is initiating a study along these lines. A parallel proposal has been made by D. Gale Johnson, “Agricultural Trade: Policy Recommendations”, an address to the Trade Policy Research Centre, London, September 16, 1971, based on a paper in Presidential Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy, United States International Economic Policy in an Interdependent World, Williams Report, Papers I (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 873–96.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    See Michael Tracy, Japanese Agriculture at the Crossroads, Agricultural Trade Paper No. 2 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1972).Google Scholar

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© Trade Policy Research Centre 1972

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  • T. E. Josling

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