Agricultural Trade Restrictiveness in the European Union and the United States

Jean-Christophe Bureau, Luca Salvatici
June 2001  [01-WP 277]

This 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. The authors 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.

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