Meat market has always had a special attention due to repeating crises and confidence breakdowns. Even though global meat trade has grown in the past decades, driven mainly by gains in poultry and pig meat originating from developing regions, many countries that produce and consume meat still remain disconnected by trade. Trade barriers, as sanitary and protectionist standards, have heavily influenced meat market. Sanitary standards related to animal diseases, food safety concerns and health issue awareness mostly identify those countries that are “free” and those that are “not free” of potential risks. Although sanitary barriers can inhibit trade flows they protect against the spread of serious diseases and other risks that can break animal production. On the other hand, protectionist barriers in the form of tariffs and tariff-rate quotas designed as domestic support may distort international markets and prevent significant potential trade in meats. The EU occupies an important position in the world meat market due to its export performance drawn from subsidies and sanitary and protection barriers that have been the focus of strong criticism by some developed and developing countries, among others. The Doha round has had an ambitious call in lowering protectionist barriers and achieving substantial improvements in market access and reductions of export subsidies and in tradedistorting domestic support. Yet, major protectionist barriers linger even so and the average global meat tariffs are higher than the average tariffs for other agricultural goods. Furthermore, these developments in trade liberalization and market access seem not to be only precondition for trade to occur as well as only answer to meat crisis.


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