Determinants of United States farm policies

David Orden, David Blandford, Timothy Josling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


This chapter focuses on the political economy of U.S. Farm policy since the Uruguay Round trade negotiations concluded in 1994 and established the World Trade Organization (WTO). The significance of this point of reference is that it introduced a new element into the consideration of farm programs by setting out, in the Agreement on Agriculture (URAA), a multilateral framework for government policies in the areas of domestic support, market access, and export competition. Though few would have expected the United States to make substantial commitments with an immediate impact on its domestic programs, changes might have been anticipated over time in the formulation of U.S. Farm policy as a result of its incorporation into an international treaty. Yet the broad thrust of agricultural policies in the United States since the URAA has exhibited a remarkable consistency with earlier decades. Old instruments have been adapted and new ones developed, but the policy mix serves essentially the same purposes, and benefits the same groups, as in the mid-1980s. This resilience of U.S. policy in the context of a potentially increasingly assertive set of multilateral trade rules is a core theme of the chapter. As an exporter of its primary agricultural products, the United States has maintained a relatively open market. Tariffs on agricultural imports are generally low and have been stable, with limited cuts to bound rates to meet Uruguay Round commitments (Blandford, Laborde and Martin 2008).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Political Economy of Agricultural Price Distortions
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9780511778964
ISBN (Print)9780521763233
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


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