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|Author(s) :||J. Leslie & M. Upton|
The Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) established the World Trade Organization to supervise the reduction of barriers to, and liberalisation of, world trade. The application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures will be standardised to avoid use for protectionist purposes by countries or regional trade blocks. Harmonisation of animal disease control measures within regional blocks is essential if benefits to freer trade are to occur, but this harmonisation must be balanced against potential disease risks and costs associated with disease outbreaks. World trade in livestock products is concentrated among developed countries, although developing countries are responsible for approximately a third of poultry meat imports and exports. Despite liberalisation, the share of global trade by developing countries is unlikely to increase greatly in the short term. The benefits of trade and of freer trade are emphasised. Examples are given of the impacts of trade barriers on developing countries and of the harmonisation of European Union animal health standards. Economic implications for the future of greater global trade are assessed.
Developing countries – General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – International trade – Meat – Sanitary and phytosanitary regulations – World Trade Organization.