Multilateral Negotiations on Agricultural Trade

  • Hugh Corbet
Part of the Trade Policy Research Centre book series


Since 1947 the commercial system of the free-enterprise world has been governed by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).1 Its principles and rules guided the restoration, in the 1950s and 1960s, of some semblance of order in the world economy, following the disorders of the 1930s and 1940s.2 These last were characterised by protectionist excesses which led, prior to World War II, to autarchic and discriminatory policies among the major trading nations.


Common Agricultural Policy Export Subsidy Target Price Agricultural Trade Multilateral Negotiation 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    This chapter is based on Hugh Corbet, Agriculture’s Place in Commercial Diplomacy, Ditchley Paper No. 48 (Enstone: Ditchley Foundation, 1974).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For an account of the events leading to the General Agreement, and of subsequent negotiations, see William Adams Brown, The United States and the Restoration of World Trade (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1950);Google Scholar
  3. Richard N. Gardner, Sterling-Dollar Diplomacy: Anglo-American Collaboration in the Reconstruction of Multilateral Trade (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956);Google Scholar
  4. Gerard Curzon, Multilateral Commercial Diplomacy (London: Michael Joseph, 1965);Google Scholar
  5. Karen Kock, International Trade Policy and the GATT 1947–67 (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wicksell, 1969);Google Scholar
  6. Kenneth W. Dam, The GATT Law and International Economic Organization (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1970).Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    An analysis of the situation prior to the international economic crisis of 1971 is provided in Corbet, ‘Global Challenge to Commercial Diplomacy’, Pacific Community Tokyo, October 1971, reproduced in the Congressional Record Washington, 16 December 1971, pp. E 13590–3.Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    Curt Gasteyger, Europe and America at the Crossroads (Paris: Atlantic Institute for International Affairs, 1971) p. 37.Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    G. C. Allen, ‘Japan’s Place in Trade Strategy’, in Corbet et al., Trade Strategy and the Asian-Pacific Region (London: Allen & Unwin, for the Trade Policy Research Centre, 1971; and Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971) pp. 92–110.Google Scholar
  10. 7.
    The negotiations were formally launched with the Tokyo Declaration, which set out the ‘terms of reference’, so to speak. The text of the Declaration can be found in GATT Activities in 1973 (Geneva: GATT Secretariat, 1974) pp. 5–10.Google Scholar
  11. 8.
    The major issues to be addressed in the negotiations are analysed in Corbet and Robert Jackson (eds), In Search of a New World Economic Order (London: Croom Helm, for the Trade Policy Research Centre, 1974; and New York: Wiley, 1974).Google Scholar
  12. 9.
    The review began with the enquiry by William Roth, as President Johnson’s Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, who produced Future United States Foreign Trade Policy, Roth Report (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1969).Google Scholar
  13. But the Congress and a host of business organisations and research establishments also participated in the public debate, the culmination of which was the massive report of the Presidential Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy, United States International Economic Policy in an Interdependent World, Williams Report (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1971).Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    By way of exemplifying the interest that was developing in the United States in the late 1960s in the implications for international economic organisation of the rapid integration of national economies, see Richard N. Cooper, The Economics of Interdependence (New York: McGraw-Hill, for the Council on Foreign Relations, 1968).Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    Commenting on the relatively small number of continental European contributions to the literature on contemporary international economic issues, Gunther Harkort, the former State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Bonn Government, remarked in 1973 that Europeans have taken more interest in the establishment and enlargement of the European Community. ‘Besides,’ he added, ‘they are not quite as dissatisfied with the world trading system as are — at present — the Americans.’ See Harkort, ‘A Concept for an Open World Economy’, Intereconomics, Hamburg, April 1974, p. 110.Google Scholar
  16. 19.
    For an analysis of the Third World’s demands for the organisation of commodity markets, see Corbet, Raw Materials: Beyond the Rhetoric of Commodity Power, International Issues No. 1 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1975).Google Scholar
  17. 22.
    This was plain in the late 1960s, if not earlier, as remarked in Corbet, ‘Role of the Free Trade Area’, in Corbet and David Robertson (eds), Europe’s Free Trade Area Experiment: EFTA and Economic Integration (Oxford and New York: Pergamon Press, for the Trade Policy Research Centre and the Reading Graduate School of Contemporary European Studies, 1969) p. 47.Google Scholar
  18. 23.
    In this connection, see Cooper, op. cit.; Lester Brown, World Without Borders (New York: Random House, 1972);Google Scholar
  19. Harry G. Johnson, Technology and Economic Interdependence (London: Macmillan, for the Trade Policy Research Centre, 1975; and New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1976).Google Scholar
  20. 24.
    The issue is discussed in Theodore Geiger, ‘Towards a World of Trading Blocs’, The Atlantic Community Quarterly, Washington, winter 1971–72, and in Corbet, ‘The Division of the World into Economic Spheres of Interest’, Pacific Community, January 1974.Google Scholar
  21. Also see Ernest H. Preeg, World Economic Blocs and US Foreign Policy (Washington: National Planning Association, 1974)Google Scholar
  22. Geiger, John Volpe and Preeg, North American Integration and Economic Blocs, Thames Essay No. 7 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1975).Google Scholar
  23. But a glance through the literature of the time on international trade reveals a widespread awareness among professional observers of the GATT’s weaknesses. See, for example, Gerard and Victoria Curzon, After the Kennedy Round, Atlantic Trade Study No. 2 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1968).Google Scholar
  24. 27.
    The GATT record on agricultural problems is briefly reviewed in Dam op. cit. pp. 257–73. Also see Brian Fernon, Issues in World Farm Trade Atlantic Trade Study No. 11 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1970) pp. 54–61.Google Scholar
  25. 29.
    Panel of Experts, Trends in International Trade, Haberler Report (Geneva: GATT Secretariat, 1958).Google Scholar
  26. 37.
    Simon Harris and Ian Smith, World Sugar Markets in a State of Flux, Agricultural Trade Paper No. 4 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1973) p. 49.Google Scholar
  27. 38.
    Michael Butterwick and Edmund Neville Rolfe, Food, Farming and the Common Market (London: Oxford University Press, 1969).Google Scholar
  28. 39.
    Hermann Priebe et al., Fields of Conflict in European Farm Policy Agricultural Trade Paper No. 3 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1972), p. 6 et seq. Included in this study are three critiques of the European Community’s common agricultural policy from German, French and Dutch points of view.Google Scholar
  29. Also see Priebe, Landwirtschaft in der Welt von Morgen (Düsseldorf: Econ Verlag, 1970).Google Scholar
  30. 41.
    See the testimony of John Schnittker, formerly Under Secretary of Agriculture in the Johnson Administration, in Hearings before the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress, A Foreign Economic Policy for the I970s, Part 2 (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1970).Google Scholar
  31. 43.
    An account of the agricultural side of the Kennedy Round negotiations can be found in Preeg, Traders and Diplomats (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1971). For a European view, see Gian Paolo Casadio, Commercio attraverso l’Atlantico: dal Kennedy Round al neoprotezionismo (Rome: Italian Institute of International Affairs, 1972).Google Scholar
  32. 44.
    John O. Coppock, Atlantic Agricultural Unity: Is it Possible? (New York: McGraw-Hill, for the Council on Foreign Relations, 1966) pp. 17 and 47.Google Scholar
  33. 47.
    The implications of the rise in oil prices is examined systematically in T. M. Rybczynski (ed.), The Economics of the Oil Crisis (London: Macmillan, for the Trade Policy Research Centre, 1975).Google Scholar
  34. 48.
    H. G. Johnson and Corbet, ‘Pacific Trade in an Open World’, Pacific Community, April 1970.Google Scholar
  35. 49.
    This point is developed in Lawrence B. Krause, ‘Trade Policy for the Seventies’, Columbia Journal of World Business, New York, January—February 1971.Google Scholar
  36. 53.
    Sir Alec Caimcross, Herbert Giersch, Alexandre Lamfalussy, Giuseppe Petrilli and Pierre Uri, Economic Policy for the European Community: the Way Forward (London: Macmillan, for the Institut für Weltwirtschaft an der Universität Kiel, 1974) p. 101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 55.
    The economic implications of the rise in oil prices is examined closely in T. M. Rybczynski (ed.), The Economics of the Oil Crisis (London: Macmillan, for the Trade Policy Research Centre, 1975).Google Scholar
  38. 56.
    An interesting discussion of the influence of ‘agricultural fundamentalism’ on the agricultural policies of the United States can be found in Don Paarlberg, American Farm Policy (New York: Wiley, 1964).Google Scholar
  39. 57.
    Since Chapter 6 only summarises the study, under the research programme, on the income-distribution effects of British farm-support policies, the reader should also turn to the full results reported in T. E. 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. 1 (London: Trade Policy Research Centre, 1972).Google Scholar
  40. 59.
    See, for example, Peter J. O. Self and Herbert J. Storing, The State and the Farmer, revised edition (London: Allen & Unwin, 1971).Google Scholar
  41. 61.
    The implications for manufacturing industry are discussed in Geoffrey Denton, Seamus O’Cleireacain and Sally Ash, Trade Effects of Public Subsidies to Private Enterprise (London: Macmillan, for the Trade Policy Research Centre, 1974).Google Scholar
  42. 62.
    See Josling and Hamway, loc. cit.; and, also James T. Bonnen, ‘The Distribution of Benefits from Selected US Farm Programs’, and Vernon G. McKee and Lee M. Day, ‘Measuring the Effects of US Department of Agriculture Programs on Income Distribution’, in Presidential Commission on Rural Poverty, Rural Poverty in the United States (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1968) pp. 461–505 and 506–21 respectively.Google Scholar

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© Trade Policy Research Center 1976

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  • Hugh Corbet

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