Trade policy today: old protection in new clothes


To produce a booklet with a possible title Trade policy today: old protection in new clothes?. The booklet would: ■ provide an update on the (lack of) progress on multilateral trade talks; ■ re iterate the potential benefits of free trade and investment; ■ examine/expose new forms/arguments for protection. A possible outline is: 1. Executive summary 2. Where we are today – background from OECD/WTO – why Doha has failed (see RIRDC Study “Termites in the Basement”) – impact of GFC, some tendency to protection but mostly the 'line held' – resort to FTA's which don't do much (see RIRDC Study “Free Trade Agreements: Making Them Better”) – emergence of Non Tariff Barriers, antidumping as surrogates for protection 3. Importance of free trade and investment – latest World Bank/other results – Highlight most measures ignore dynamic effects 4. Food security — protectionism in new clothes? – need open flexible system, to provide the most stable, reliable supply at least cost 5. Food safety/quarantine — more protectionism in old clothes? – Food safety concerns with rising incomes – quarantine — need best practice approach 6. Environment as a source of protection – Food miles – Agricultural subsidies are perverse, harming economic efficiency and the environment (see RIRDC study “Greening Farm Subsidies”) 7. Investment barriers — new misguided source of protection – Material from RIRDC study “Trojan Horse or More Horesepower?” (updated) – Each country has sovereignty over the rules no sense in restricting asset ownership. 8. What to do – Need transparency (see RIRDC Study Policy Transparency: Why does it work? Who does it best?)


National Rural Issues

Research Organisation

Centre for International Economics

Objective Summary

The objective of the project is to bring greater clarity to the international debate on free trade and investment to enhance the prospects of lower trade and investment barriers to the benefit of the rural sector.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Project Completion Date

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Safeguarding Australia

National Priority

Advanced Technology

National Priority

NRI-National Rural Issues


Related publications


Trade Policy Today: A New Approach for a Changed World