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Abstract

In the 2001 Workshop the authors developed and applied a taxonomy and framework for assessing the status of agricultural and food policies in each of the NAFTA countries (Knutson, Loyns and Ochoa, 2002). It divided the policies into the following areas: -Facilitate growth and progress. -Regulation. -Market intervention. For each area the paper identified the major points of conflict that existed in 2001 at the time the paper was written and the requirements for harmonization. The major areas of conflict included; -Facilitate growth and progress: particularly grades and standards in grains (US-CA) and beef (US-CA); trade policy in dairy (US-CA), sugar (US-MX), poultry (US-MX), and wheat (US-CA); infrastructure policies (border conflicts US-MX). -Regulation: particularly plant and animal protection (US-MX), food safety (US-MX), pesticides (US-CA-MX). -Market interventions: particularly disaster assistance (US-CA-MX), price supports and safety nets (US-CA-MX), and supply management and state trading. The purpose of this paper is to update that paper and to draw conclusions as to whether progress has been made since 2001 has been positive, negative, or neutral in each of these areas of conflict for policy/program convergence, harmonization, and compatibility. The 2001 policies, therefore, can be looked upon as a policy baseline point of reference for comparison in 2003. Many of the policy changes were embodied in the precipitated by the US 2002 farm bill. However, care was taken to review each of the policy/program areas covered in the 2001 taxonomy to identify changes in the level of conflict.

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