Portail de l'appui aux politiques et de la gouvernance

Issue paper

Food Export Restrictions: Review of the 2007-2010 Experience and Considerations for Disciplining Restrictive Measures

This paper reviews experiences on food export restrictions during 2007-10 and related studies and makes some proposals for disciplining export restrictions through the ongoing Doha Round negotiations. To start with, there is a strategic choice to be made. One option is to limit the disciplining to improving the requirements for notifications, information provision and consultations, along the line of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture Article 12. This is the choice that has been made by negotiators, as reflected in the draft Doha texts of December 2008. In the mean time, the 2007-10 food crisis and price spikes have prompted calls from many quarters for going beyond that choice to actually disciplining restrictive policies such as export tax and ban. This is the second option in that strategic choice. For option 1, the paper discusses issues and ideas for strengthening Article 12. For option 2, it makes two concrete proposals, as alternatives. One is a Tax-Rate Quota scheme similar to the current TarRate Quota on imports. The other is a variable export tax scheme.