The EU recently completed negotiating a series of Association Agreements with Mediterranean countries. Trade preferences for agricultural goods granted under these Agreements, as well as under former arrangements, are analyzed by calculating the value of preference margins at several stages in the evolution of preferences. The total value of preference margins for all countries covered was about 130 million under the agreements of the mid-1970s and increased by 48 per cent until 1995; by 2000 this value declined by about 14 per cent due to reduced EU MFN tariffs. The extended preferences under the new Agreements more than compensate for this decline and will result in a total value of preference margins of 226 million once all Agreements have entered into force.


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