Friday, October 9, 2009

globalization vs national reliance in staple foods: lessons from 2008?

One year and a half ago I was jotting down in my then diary/notes:


"Monday, April 7, 2008:
* The World Bank estimates that 33 countries face potential social unrest because of rising food and energy prices.
* Rough rice for May delivery has hit an all time record price of $20.26 per 100lb!
* Export restrictions are currently in place in major rice producing countries including India, China, Vietnam and Egypt.
* The prices of corn, wheat and soybeans are also near all time highs.

Thursday. April 3, 2008:
Does the current turmoil in the global food and agricultural products markets, and especially the export bans imposed by some developing countries partly (or to what extent) justify the unwillingness of the EU and the US to open up their markets to those products and maintain some sort of partial "self reliance" on food?"


Now, 1.5 years later, let me pose the same philosophical, policy, strategic question again:

Does last year's turmoil in the global food and agricultural products markets, and especially the export bans imposed by some developing countries partly (or to what extent) justify the unwillingness of the EU and the US to open up their markets to those products and maintain some sort of partial "self reliance" on food?

And how can this affect the potential for a Doha Round agreement in 2010?

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Thanks.
BRs
Nick

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