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Abstract

This paper highlights some of the recent concerns regarding agricultural state trading enterprises (STEs) and proposes an analytical framework to examine the trade impacts of such entities. Issues associated with discriminatory pricing, exclusive rights to sell and purchase commodities, and unfair competitive advantage vis-a-vis private traders are expected to be major concerns on the export side, while on the import side, the relevance of tariffication in the presence of STEs is being questioned. Our paper proposes that, in most instances, tariff equivalents are the most relevant methodology to quantify the trade impacts of agricultural STEs. But, obtaining empirical information that would enable the calculation of such measures is not an easy task. To that end, a classification scheme that highlights the different types of STEs in terms of their ability to distort trade is proposed. Quantification can then focus on those most likely to impact trade.

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