Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues: Where Does the WTO Go from Here?
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The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) governs regulations designed to mitigate potential negative externalities associated with the movement of products across national borders that might adversely impact human, animal, or plant health or life. When legitimate externalities or other market failures are addressed, such technical barriers have the potential to increase national welfare, even without consideration of terms-of-trade effects. All nations employ a wide range of standards and regulations to govern sales of agricultural products in national markets, the majority of which are considered justified commercial limitations.ii Governments may also impose technical barriers to isolate domestic producers from international competition. In these cases, under small-country assumptions, technical barriers are welfare-decreasing policies.
KeywordsWorld Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Uruguay Round Technical Barrier Agricultural Trade
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