Many studies show that product quality plays an important role in determining the direction of trade. This paper uses the Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification as a proxy variable for quality to investigate its effect on U.S. exports. The results of this study show that only the highest level of SQF quality certification has a positive effect on U.S. agri-food exports. The results of this paper have three implications. Firms in the U.S. may want to become certified at the highest level of private standards if they are serious about increasing their exports. On the government side, they should consider employing high public standards or follow other strategies to promote development of high private standards. On the consumer side, SQF may have a signaling effect. SQF represents high quality in terms of food safety, which means that


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