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Agricultural trade restrictiveness in the European Union and the United States

Jean-Christophe Bureau and Luca Salvatici

The paper provides a summary measure of the Uruguay Round tariff reduction commitments in the European Union and the United States, using the Mercantilistic Trade Restrictiveness Index
(MTRI) as the tariff aggregator. We compute the index for agricultural commodity aggregates assuming a specific (Constant Elasticity of Substitution) functional form for import demand. The
levels of the MTRI under the actual commitments of the Uruguay Round are computed and compared with two hypothetical cases, the Swiss Formula leading to a 36 percent average decrease in tariffs and a uniform 36 percent reduction of each tariff. This makes it possible to infer how reducing tariff dispersion would help improve market access in future trade agreements.

Keywords: international agricultural trade; protection, tariffs and tariff factors
JEL Classification: F13, Q17

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).