The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
The study reveals agricultural import restrictions are widely applied in Asia, but that Japan and Korea impose lower average tariffs and nontariff barriers with less frequency than most Asian countries. It also finds several low and middle-income countries enforce relatively low protection for basic foodstuffs, while high-income countries tend to impose relatively high protection for foods. Finally, commodity patterns of trade and protection suggest scope exists for successful reciprocal negotiations to liberalize agricultural trade mainly between low and middle-income Asian countries. Though similar gains might be achieved by unilateral liberalization, reciprocal negotiations are more feasible politically and, on a most-favored-nation basis, would imply greater trade expansion.