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Assessing Market Liberalization: The Case of U.S.-Dominican Republic Trade in Agricultural Goods


Sarita D. Jackson, Ph.D., Founder, President and CEO, Global Research Institute of International Trade (GRIIT)

Agriculture remains a highly controversial issue during trade negotiations, as evident by the collapse of the Doha Round of talks at the World Trade Organization level. Agriculture is a sector that many governments seek to protect. For example, the Dominican negotiators for the agricultural sector during its 2004 negotiation with the United States successfully negotiated a deal that allows for a tariff-phase out of more than 10 years for a number of subsectors such as beef. However, within the next five years, those same subsectors will face the full liberalization of the market.

Interviews with agricultural producers in the Dominican Republic revealed some effort to develop the capacity to compete once the market opens. What has the impact of trade agreements been on the competitiveness of agriculture in developing countries? How can producers, governments and associations in developing countries build their capacity to compete within the global economy?

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the role of trade agreements in shaping the competitiveness of agricultural producers in developing countries;
  • Name tactics that can be used by developing countries during negotiations to protect their interests;
  • List strategies for developing industry capacity during a long tariff phase out period; and
  • Identify ways in which domestic institutions, such as financial and educational, can assist the agricultural sector.

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