Issues of WTA in shrimp aquaculture for exports and options for way forward

Ravishankar, T and Shyam, S Salim (2012) Issues of WTA in shrimp aquaculture for exports and options for way forward. In: World Trade Agreement and Indian Fisheries Paradigms: A Policy Outlook, 17-26 September 2012, Kochi.


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    The global trade agreements under the ambit of World Trade Organization(WTO) (hereafter called as WTA), cover goods, services and intellectual property. They spell out the principles of liberalization, and the permitted exceptions. They include individual countries’ commitments to lower customs tariffs and other trade barriers, and to open and keep open services markets. They also set procedures for settling disputes. They prescribe special treatment for developing countries. They require governments to make their trade policies transparent by notifying the WTO about laws in force and measures adopted, and through regular reports by the secretariat on countries’ trade policies. As fisheries is not having the protection as agriculture under WTO regime, un understanding of WTA is important for fisheries professionals. Though WTA is put in place to ensure free trade among nations, many trade barriers are government-induced restrictions on international trade. The barriers can take many forms, including the following: tariffs, non-tariff barriers to trade import licenses, export licenses, import quotas, subsidies, voluntary export restraints, local content requirements, embargo, currency devaluation. Other trade barriers include differences in culture, customs, traditions, laws, language and currency. Most trade barriers work on the same principle: the imposition of some sort of cost on trade that raises the price of the traded products. If two or more nations repeatedly use trade barriers against each other, then a trade war results. Economists generally agree that trade barriers are detrimental and decrease overall economic efficiency, this can be explained by the theory of comparative advantage. In theory, free trade involves the removal of all such barriers, except perhaps those considered necessary for health or national security. In practice, however, even those countries promoting free trade heavily subsidize certain industries, such as agriculture and steel. Trade barriers are often criticized for the effect they have on the developing world. Because rich-country players call most of the shots and set trade policies, goods such as crops that developing countries are best at producing still face high barriers. Trade barriers such as taxes on food imports or subsidies for farmers in developed economies lead to overproduction and dumping on world markets, thus lowering prices and hurting poor-country farmers. Tariffs also tend to be anti-poor, with low rates for raw commodities and high rates for labour-intensive processed goods. The Commitment to Development Index measures the effect that rich country trade policies actually have on the developing world. Another negative aspect of trade barriers is that it would cause a limited choice of products and would therefore force customers to pay higher prices and accept inferior quality. Trade barriers affecting fisheries and shrimp exports from India are discussed hereunder.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: WTA; shrimp aquaculture; exports; World Trade Organization
    Subjects: Aquaculture
    Socio Economics and Extension > Fisheries Extension
    Marine Fisheries
    Divisions: CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Extension
    Subject Area > CMFRI > CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Extension
    CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Extension
    Subject Area > CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Extension
    Depositing User: Arun Surendran
    Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2012 04:49
    Last Modified: 09 Sep 2015 15:53

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