Impacts of Liberalizing the Japanese Pork Market

Thomas I. Wahl, Dermot J. Hayes, Stanley R. Johnson
July 1991  [90-GATT 5]

The Japanese pork market is protected by a complex set of restrictions, including a variable levy and an import tariff. The combination of these policies distorts the quantity, price, and form of Japanese pork imports. An important issue relevant to the liberalization of the Japanese pork market is the accurate measurement of the price wedge between Japanese and world pork prices. The analysis indicates that the tariff equivalent of the price wedge over the 1986-88 period was 44 percent. If the tariff equivalent of the price wedge is reduced over a ten-year period, Japanese pork imports are projected to increase by over 39 percent initially and by over 380 percent by 2000. Producer welfare can be maintained by a deficiency payment scheme. A less costly alternative is an industry buffer scheme, which maintains the level of the pork industry for two years and then implements a declining deficiency payment scheme that limits the decrease in production levels to 5 percent per year.

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