Munich Personal RePEc Archive

On the Evolution of Trade and of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards: The Role of Trade Agreements

Santeramo, Fabio Gaetano and Guerrieri, Valentina and Lamonaca, Emilia (2018): On the Evolution of Trade and of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards: The Role of Trade Agreements. Forthcoming in: Agriculture

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Abstract

Trade agreements and trade measures are policy instruments aimed at favouring trade by providing a degree of harmonisation among members. We analyse how the agri-food trade and the incidence of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPSs) have evolved for countries sharing agreements. We examine, through a regression discontinuity design, whether the approval of agreements affects the evolution of trade and SPSs and quantify the trade effects of SPSs. We also highlight the differences in trade flows due to the introduction of agreements. Findings show that trade agreements tend to increase trade and to reduce the number of policy measures among countries. Regulation inequalities exist across trade agreements covering different geo-economic areas: after the approval of agreements, the existence and the importance of SPSs become relevant among developing countries, whereas the pervasiveness of SPSs becomes less stringed between developed and developing countries. Our analyses prove that trade agreements and trade measures are trade-enhancing, with the cereals sector benefitting the most.

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