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

Trans-Pacific Partnership: is Agriculture being pilloried?

January 13, 2014

With the Bali conference barely over, member countries of the WTO, the United States in the lead, were once again in the race for bilateral and regional free trade agreements.

For some, these partnerships offer new opportunities for achieving more export competitiveness, but also they create concern with regards the preservation of sectors deemed strategic and thus protected. Others see them as real threats to the State’s economic, political, social or even dietary sovereignty.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP), the most important free trade treaty ever negotiated, now includes 12 countries1 and represents more than 40% of global GDP. Yet not everyone agrees with it particularly in the agricultural sectors.

Singled out for its lack of transparency, the agreement has been accused of privileging investors at the expense of farmers and of weakening essential agricultural policies. The negotiations aim, like other free trade agreements, to eliminate tariffs and other barriers on trade in industrial and agricultural goods. Yet the provisions are appreciated and interpreted in different ways depending on the partner countries.

Some U.S. farmers fear Japan, considered “too protectionist” entering the negotiations. In late December, a coalition of agricultural organizations led by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) expressed their fear at Japan making a list of “sensitive” agricultural products to be excluded from the Partnership, jeopardizing their strategy for expansion into Asian markets.

In contrast, thousands of Japanese farmers took to the streets of Tokyo last December to oppose the Japanese government taking part in the TPP, which according to them, paves the way for the dumping of cheap imported products and prevents proper subsidization of the agricultural sector. Indeed, Washington demands that Tokyo lowers tariffs that the Archipelago has on several foreign agricultural products entering its territory.

These two opposing positions are causing the indefinite postponement of the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Moreover, they are further evidence of the specific and strategic character of Agriculture that will remain a sticking point in any economic partnership agreement as long as the consequences of the unregulated liberalization of agricultural markets are not taken into account. Because the latter risks not only being met with a worsening economic situation in most countries along with increased price volatility in agricultural raw materials, but also significant challenges for agriculture.

Why then push a State to dismantle the regulatory mechanisms that correct market failures when unregulated liberalization would only exacerbate imbalances?

1 USA, Australia, Japan, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam.
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Paris, 19 June 2019