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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Libre comercio en agricultura: Hipocresía de los países desarrollados


Marginal Revolution destaca el artículo en Foreign Affairs sobre los ganadores y perdedores de una posible reducción mundial de protecciones a la industria agrícola:


Marginal Revolution: Who would gain from agricultural free trade?:

...the reality is that liberalizing agricultural trade would largely benefit the consumers and taxpayers of the wealthy nations. Why? Because agricultural subsidies serve first and foremost to transfer resources from consumers and taxpayers to farmers within the same country...Other countries are affected only insofar as world prices rise. But the big, clear gainers from such price increases would be countries that are large net exporters of agricultural products --rich countries, such as the United States, and middle-income countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, and Thailand.

What about the poorer countries? For one thing, many poor countries are actually net importers of agricultural products, and so they benefit from low world prices. An increase in prices may help the rural poor, who sell the agricultural goods, but it would make the urban poor -- the consumers -- worse off. Net poverty could still be reduced, but to what extent depends in complicated fashion on the working condition of roads and the markets for fertilizer and other inputs...

Regardless of whether agricultural liberalization increases or decreases poverty, the impact would not be significant. Most studies predict that the effect of such liberalization on world prices would be small...

Furthermore a general reduction of trade barriers in rich countries could leave some of the world's poorest countries worse off. A substantial part of least-developed countries' exports enjoy favorable conditions of access to the markets of rich countries under various preferential trade arrangements..."

Mercosur puede ser un importante ganador en industrias como azúcar, jugo de naranja, soya, algodón y tantas más. Brasil ha logrado prácticamente solo el crear conciencia de los costos de dicho proteccionismo y defenderlos en la WTO. ¿Cuáles son las oportunidades para Chile?

Ahora bien, no parece ser la bala de plata para solucionar los problemas de Africa, pero soy excéptico de que dicha bala exista.

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