Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business

No 03-2015: No Way to Meet Commitments for Norway’s Meat Imports: An Assessment of WTO Disciplines on Market Access in Agriculture

Roberto J. Garcia ()
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Roberto J. Garcia: School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Postal: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, School of Economics and Business, P.O. Box 5003 NMBU, N-1432 Ås, Norway

Abstract: WTO trade disciplines and commitments on market access (MA) are assessed for their ability to foster agricultural liberalization and policy reform in four Norwegian meat markets (beef, pork, lamb/sheep and chicken). The analysis addresses three issues: (1) the role that non-trade barriers played relative to the tariff regime in the overall MA of meats; (2) the changes in the composition of trade by product sub-categories and source country (and the role that quotas may have played); and (3) a comparison of the cost of imported meats and the average domestic price of the like good at the HS 6-digit level. The results suggest that MA opportunities required and created by the WTO have not initiated a process of liberalization or reform in the context of Norwegian meat markets. Only a limited scope of import penetration was permitted and was often use in collaboration with other bilateral and preferential quotas. The net effect of the policy mix continues to resemble a variable levy that limits/controls the volume imported and maintains/stabilizes prices. The analysis of the comparison of the cost of imported meat, inclusive of relevant border, with the average domestic price generally shows that imports under non-discriminating MA entered the domestic market within a 10% margin of the domestic price. There is little indication that rents are generated on imports under multilateral MA, but substantial rents could have been earned under preferential MA quotas.

Keywords: Norway; meat product markets; market access; WTO commitments; non-tariff barriers; bound tariffs; preferential quotas; cost of imports; domestic prices

JEL-codes: F13; F14; Q17; Q18

24 pages, March 16, 2015

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