The 30th anniversary of the Cairns Group provides an opportunity to reflect on agricultural trade reform progress over the last three decades. The Nairobi Decision in December 2015 to phase out agricultural export subsidies showed that agricultural trade liberalisation is still possible. However, there is plenty of scope for further reform.
Kym Anderson’s book Finishing Global Farm Trade Reform: Implications for Developing Countries explores how further agreements might be reached among WTO members to reduce farm trade distortions. Anderson proposes simple ways to reform market access and domestic support in order to boost food security, improve nutrition and reduce poverty in developing countries. Opening agricultural markets also maximises the role that trade can play in driving national growth in developing and developed nations.
Kym Anderson is a Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide in South Australia and in the Arndt-Cordon Department of Economics at the Australian National University. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the International Food Policy Research Institute based in Washington DC. He was on extended leave at the Economic Research division of the GATT (now WTO) Secretariat in Geneva during 1990-92 and at the World Bank’s Research Group in Washington DC as Lead Economist (Trade Policy) during 2004-07. During 1996-2008 he served as a panellist on a series of WTO Dispute Settlement panels related to the EU’s banana policy, and in 2008-09 he was an expert witness in the WTO dispute over US cotton policies. Anderson is the author of around 400 articles and 40 books and has received a number of publication awards. in 2015 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).
Finishing Global Farm Trade Reform is now available as a free ebook or in hardcover.