The political economy of agricultural trade policy: Sri Lanka in the Uruguay Round

Premachandra Athukorala, Saman Kelegama

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA) laid a firm foundation for establishing a rule-based world trading system, encompassing both developed and developing countries, for agricultural products. This paper aims to broaden our understanding about the constraints faced by developing countries in their attempts to comply with new URAA rules through a comparative case study of Sri Lanka in the South Asian context. We find Sri Lanka 's policy initiatives so far under the URAA to be unique among the South Asian countries. In a notable departure from the hesitant policy responses of the other countries, Sri Lanka has made use of the window of opportunity provided by the URAA to significantly liberalise agricultural trade as well as to lock in the ongoing trade reform process at low duty levels. This move has laid the foundation for further trade liberalisation with the aim of restructuring the agricultural sector in accordance with Sri Lanka's comparative advantage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-26
    JournalContemporary South Asia
    Volume7
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

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