Efficiencies in Trade, Services and Converting Garbage
Policy research or policy-oriented research usually goes through many filters before they are taken up into national decision-making. Probably the most important filter is political considerations and, as Andrew Schmitz pointedly writes (Agriculture Policies in the Next Decade: A Global Perspective), the agenda of lobby groups representing commodity producers and traders. Many countries either tax agriculture or provide subsidies through trade and agricultural policies. Schmitz describes the historical developments in the United States, European Union, Canada, China, India, and Thailand, which generally subsidize agriculture although the level of subsidies has decreased because of the significant rise in commodity prices. He notes that while progress has been made in lowering tariff and non-tariff barriers around the world with positive outcomes, the future progress in this area is questionable as evidenced by the Doha Round trade talks. Policy makers are now grappling with how to deal with price instability, uncertainty, and rising food prices...
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