A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Free trade agreements: What goes around…

April 7, 2014


Barring a WTO victory in multilateral and federative trade proceedings, the United States and the European Union are increasing the frequency of marathon talks to implement regional free trade agreements: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) or the Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA), or still the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)1, the EU-Mercosur and the EU-Canada trade agreements. But while negotiations are proceeding, there are an increasing number of voices of elected officials and the civil society to criticize the opaque as well as economically and socially destructive agreements that would impact several sectors, such as agriculture.

Are we on the wrong side of globalization? This is the suggestion made by Joseph Stliglitz, the American economist and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, in a recent New York Times editorial2. The professor draws on the example of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest free trade agreement ever negotiated that now bring together 12 countries and represents over 40 percent of the world GDP. Yet this agreement has generated controversy regarding its secrecy, its supremacy of trade interests over national interests as well as its backing liberalization and deregulation, at a time when the 2008 financial crisis should have taught us that the lack of pertinent regulation can compromise any economic prosperity. These are all imbalance and mismanagement aspects that will turn free trade agreements––such as the TPP––into destroyers of social fairness and boosters of risks.

Believing in a win-win agreement that supports social progress and economic performance would be as unrealistic as believing in the economic models on which these agreements are based. Models that assume pure and perfect competition, and ignore the components linked to market risks and speculative issues, or the intrinsic market volatility, especially in agricultural commodities. As a result, if the goals of free trade agreements are large-scale, sound and commendable, their foundations are unrealistic and their implementation potentially harmful for activities such as agriculture et agribusiness, insofar as these are both economically and strategically neglected.

Given this configuration, the warnings made by Joseph Stiglitz are becoming all the more relevant.


1 United States, Australia, Japan, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
1 http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/15/on-the-wrong-side-of-globalization/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
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Paris, 19 December 2018