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Abstract

In this paper, we make an attempt to rationalize the strategic behavior of major peanut exporting and importing countries in the framework of imperfectly competitive markets with the focus on the global and inter-American peanut trade. This study is motivated by the fact that liberalizing imperfectly competitive and often distorted markets can have unorthodox effects, in particular increase the incentives to overuse certain trade policies. The results suggest that the South American peanut producers stand to benefit from the reductions in the U.S. peanut production supports but, paradoxically, preservation of a tariff may still be mutually welfare enhancing. In the broader context of global peanut trade, multi-lateral tariff reduction increases the low-cost exporters' incentives to subsidize export production, which benefits the consumers but hurts the higher-cost producers.

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