Tariff-rate quotas and international market access to brazilian agricultural products.
The present study aims at discussing the influence of the tariff-rate quota system on Brazilian agricultural exports. The text describes the characteristics of the tariff-rate quota system and points to its inconsistencies with the principles of non-discrimination and transparency prescribed by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the minimum and current access compromises established in the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA). The present study utilizes graphic illustrations to demonstrate the possible effects of tariff-rate quotas on general welfare, income diversion, and import demand. While graphic illustrations constitute the methodological instruments of the study, the theoretical analysis is drawn from microeconomics and international economics. The study focuses on 32 products that were identified as the most important Brazilian agricultural exports. This resulted in the investigation of 352 out of the total 1,425 tariff-rate quotas, and involved 26 of the 43 countries that impose this type of instrument on their imports. The results point to the interference of the tariff-rate quota system on Brazilian agricultural exports. However, given that the tariff-rate quota mechanisms vary considerable from product to product, and from country to country, the results are not conclusive in regards to the effects of adopting trade liberalization policies. The study verifies the influence of political and social factors on the administration of tariff-rate quotas, their legal and institutional standing in international trade agreements, the types of discrimination they perpetuate, their lack of transparency, and the fundamental role they play in the control of domestic supply and maintenance of domestic support policies. Furthermore, the study verified that tariff-rate quotas have a greater influence on Brazil?s exports of sugar, meats, corn, cocoa, tobacco, and cotton. Given these nuances, the present study provides Brazilian negotiators with suggestions regarding the treatment of the tariff-rate quota system in order to grant greater access for Brazil?s agricultural products in the international market.
Advisor:Marcos Sawaya Jank; Heloisa Lee Burnquist; Maria Lucia Labate Mantovanini; Marcos Sawaya Jank
School:Universidade de São Paulo
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords: agricultural products
Date of Publication:03/17/2004