S1072: U.S. Agricultural Trade and Policy in a Dynamic Global Market Environment

(Multistate Research Project)

Status: Active

S1072: U.S. Agricultural Trade and Policy in a Dynamic Global Market Environment

Duration: 10/01/2018 to 09/30/2023

Administrative Advisor(s):

NIFA Reps:

Statement of Issues and Justification

U.S. agriculture is dependent on the international market.  The U.S. has long been a proponent of developing opportunities for trade through multilateral, bilateral, and regional trade agreements.  Recent events, however, including the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the announced renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) create uncertainties with respect to their implications for U.S. agriculture.  The U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord creates uncertainties on the environmental front that will affect U.S. agricultural trade, both with respect to the reaction of countries that are markets for U.S. agricultural products as well as our ability to compete through the elimination or reduction of environmental regulations.  While the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury has been directed to label China a currency manipulator, the tremendous economic growth in the United States only adds to U.S. purchasing power and exacerbates the Chinese trade surplus with the United States.  At the same time, the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative have been directed to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly affect American workers and use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately, which will potentially result in retaliation.

Although there is much evidence of a change in the stance of the U.S. with respect to international trade, it is important to note that the global context is changing as well.  Evidence of this can be seen with Brexit, as the United Kingdom’s (UK) vote to secede from the European Union will create the need for renegotiation and modification of numerous trade agreements involving the UK and the EU.  The UK will be forced to develop or renegotiate pacts with the United States as well as with our competitors and customers.

The problem that comes to the fore is that it is often unclear what the implications of these actions will be for agriculture and related interest groups.  During the period of 2006-2016, U.S. agricultural exports rose from $70.95 billion to $134.71 billion a 90 percent increase. Imports rose from $65.46 billion to $114.44 billion, resulting in a positive agricultural trade balance that nearly quadrupled from $5.49 billion in 2006 to $20.27 billion in 2016 (ERS and FAS, 2018).  Given the importance and growth of international agricultural trade for U.S. agriculture and the U.S. economy, there is a need to determine the specific consequences for agricultural trade of these actions mentioned above.  These implications include trade creation, destruction, and diversion impacts, as well as price, quantity, and welfare implications for various interest groups, including agricultural producers, agribusiness, consumers, and the environment.

The principal benefits of this research include information pertaining to trade, supply response, import demands and export supplies, land values, price variability, agricultural value added, food safety, the environment, and emerging bio-energy issues. Improved competitiveness of the U.S. in international food and agricultural trade is expected to strengthen the employment base and increase income levels in respective states.

Research conducted within the proposed project will primarily address ESCOP Priority Area Goal 1, AN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEM THAT IS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. Research will specifically address needs pertaining to sub-goals: G. Competitiveness in international markets and J. Public policy & economics of agricultural production systems.

Previous multistate projects have focused on the development and modification of domestic agricultural legislation through the Farm Bill.  While analysis of new domestic farm legislation will be an important objective of this project, the potentially dramatic shift in U.S. trade policies that is being proposed could have major implications for all groups and sectors associated with U.S. agriculture.  With these changing conditions and potential renegotiation or withdrawal from existing trade agreements, the objectives of this research focus on the emerging issues and opportunities associated with agricultural trade and the global market environment during the next decade.

If this type of analysis does not go forward, stakeholders will have incomplete information with respect to the economic impacts of changes in agricultural trade and the global market environment. While various commodity groups may have analysts who investigate their specific commodities and the related policies, the proposed work in this multi-state project will bring together a team of researchers to assess trade and policies across multiple commodities and products.

Multi-state Collaboration: The list of policy and trade issues available for research is a long one. Only with multistate collaboration can the researchers select a relevant subset that focuses on the most current, critical issues. In so doing the analysis provides results that transcend state lines. In addition, individual researchers will apply different methods and models to a selected trade or policy issue. The collective results will give a perspective that addresses the multi-dimensional aspects of an issue.

The body of work proposed here will contribute to the understanding of agricultural trade and policy. As a group of researchers from multiple institutions, the output of this work will address the multifarious needs of the agricultural community and policy makers. As these constituencies are interested in a diverse group of products and policies both nationally and internationally, the collaboration of this project will address many of these different interests. The analysis will advance the science of economics of trade and policy in agriculture with new empirical techniques and new data.

The outcomes of this research are expected to have positive consequences for numerous stakeholders associated with the U.S. food and agricultural sector. This includes agricultural producers, consumers, agribusiness firms, rural communities, policy makers, farm organizations and related constituencies in order for them to have the information necessary for informed decision making and policy design.

Related, Current and Previous Work

The most recent iteration of this multi-state project was S-1062: The Importance of U.S. Food and Agricultural Trade in a New Global Market Environment. This project was active from 2013 through 2018. Prior to S-1062, the project was S-1043: Economic Impacts of International Trade and Domestic Policies on Southern Agriculture. This project was active from 2008 through 2013. Prior to S-1043, this project was S-1016: Impacts of Trade and Domestic Policies on the Competitiveness and Performance of Southern Agriculture. This project was active from 2003 through 2008. This multi-state group has been researching agricultural trade and policies for the past 15 years as documented in the NMISS system and many members of this group have been researching agricultural trade and policies for several additional decades.   

To recap the accomplishments of this group, we will begin a decade ago in 2008. From 2008 through 2013 this group was S-1043: Economic Impacts of International Trade and Domestic Policies on Southern Agriculture. S-1043 studied trade and policy issues of importance to Southern agriculture. For example, the group completed research on the impacts of bio-energy alternatives on Southern agriculture. Applied research was also focused on the economic impacts of selected invasive species on critical production regions within the South, including zebra-chip and citrus-greening. The group also provided economic analysis on immigration reform alternatives to state and national policy-makers. Using applied economics, research also focused on agricultural market potential in Cuba, with results presented to industry and policy-makers. The group conducted various trade policy simulations to determine the impacts of alternative international trade agreements for commodities including sugar, cotton, peanuts, beef, pork, wheat, and soybeans. At the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, S-1043 presented papers on logistics and trade as well as price volatility. The group wrote public policy information leaflets to be disseminated to national policy-makers prior to finalizing the 2008 Farm Bill. In the Fall of 2012, S-1043 members contributed to the development of the conference, Emerging Issues in Global Animal Product Trade co-sponsored by the Farm Foundation, the Economic Research Service, NFP, and Texas Tech University's Combest Endowed Chair for Agricultural Competitiveness. In the areas of risk management, and monetary and fiscal policies, the group conducted applied econometric and simulations to determine the short and long-run effects of exchange rate uncertainty on agricultural input prices. The group also conducted studies on exchange rate effects on trade and international marketing. Furthermore, the group also made significant efforts in research that focused on structural changes in global market development. Specifically, studies on the structural changes in Chinese oil seeds and grains markets that are of significant importance to U.S. exports have been conducted by the group. S-1043 also provided economic analyses on the effects of phytosanitary protocols on U.S. trade with Asia, U.S. food safety standards and export competitiveness in Asia-Pacific Countries, and country- of-origin labeling (COOL) and food safety and quality issues. S-1043 members have also engaged in research efforts that provide economic analysis to major WTO rulings. In addition, the group has worked on modeling and simulation of the impact of WTO related provisions on the Cotton/Textile/Apparel complex, undervalued currencies, agricultural labor shortages, and invasive species.

From 2013 through 2018, S-1062: The Importance of U.S. Food and Agricultural Trade in a New Global Market Environment has examined issues related to U.S. agricultural trade and policy. For example, researchers have examined aspects of European Union policies and the potential impact of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) which would create freer trade between the European Union and the United States (US). Members of the project have investigated implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) which was a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Peru, the US, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam. Several researchers have investigated the potential implications of TPP for US agriculture. However, the US recently withdrew from this proposed agreement and the remaining eleven countries will likely sign the agreement without the US in March. Research regarding the TPP has examined how the US withdrawal from TPP impacts the US beef industry. Currently, Australia has preferential access to the Japanese beef market due to the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement but the US does not have a FTA in place with Japan.  Research has also examined the possible impact of TPP on the rice market. S-1062 members have also examined the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Researchers have examined the impact of NAFTA on US and Mexican sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) markets since NAFTA became fully implemented for sugar in 2008.

S-1062 members have also developed economic models to generate projections of future agricultural commodities and biofuel markets domestically and internationally. Researchers studying these models collaborate with colleagues domestically and internationally to develop agricultural commodity and biofuel models that indicate how external factors, like petroleum prices, and policies will affect U.S. agriculture in the future. Researchers have also examined the competitiveness of US exports of cotton, corn, sorghum and other commodities. For example, research has examined the impact of China’s participation in the global cotton market and their role as a key export market for US sorghum as well as the drivers of China’s new agricultural policies and trade protection after joining the WTO with projection into the next decades, identifying the strongest opportunities for exports of grain and animal products. The impact of country of origin labeling (COOL) on food products has been an actively researched topic. Cost-benefit analysis has been used by this group to analyze US policies related to tobacco, sugar and sugar substitutes. Books have been written about agriculture in Kazakhstan, Russia and the Ukraine. For example, the role of Russia in the world wheat market has been examined. Researchers have also examined the Florida citrus sector and the impact of citrus greening. Applied economic analysis has examined food safety (e.g., Food Safety Modernization Act) and climate change policy. Research has examined many aspects of bioenergy (ethanol and biomass). Additionally, research has examined the US exports of the ethanol co-product, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGs). This group also organized a conference in the Netherlands on the topic of TTIP, TPP and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This group has completed several studies on GMOs. Studies range from the impact of GMOs on food security to consumer preference studies regarding GMO labeling of foods. S-1062 members have published numerous volumes of books on Food Security and have also researched various aspects of water scarcity. US agricultural trade with Cuba has also been a researched topic among group members. Research on precision technology and technological advancements made in Argentina and Brazil has been conducted along with a variety of work on agriculture in African nations.

Previous literature

A large body of research has been completed and is currently underway in the area of international agricultural trade and policy. This section will review the literature within the past decade that is related to our project and authored by many of our multi-state members. To begin, a major research area regards the effect of trade agreements and trade liberalization on agricultural markets of the impacted countries  Publications on this topic include, among others: Grant and Lambert (2008); Telleria et al (2008); Tokarick (2008); Brockmeier and Pelikan (2008); Hendricks and Nalley (2008); Reimer and Li (2010); Ghazalian and Cardwell (2010); Waugh (2010); Jean et al (2010); Sun and Reed (2010); Serrano and Pinilla (2010); Meyers et al. (2010); Thompson et al. (2010); Femenia and Gohin (2011, 2009); Tamini et al. (2012, 2010); Mulik and Koo (2011); Verma et al. (2011); Grant and Boys (2012); Arkolakis et al. (2012); Anderson et al. (2015); Ngeleza and Muhammad (2015); Haong and Meyers (2015); Shaik (2016a,b); Grant (2017); Hejazi et al. (2017b); Shaik (2017); Lopez et al. (2017); Eum et al. (in press).

Research regarding the policies and progress of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have also been a researched topic (Gervais et al., 2008; Martin and Anderson, 2008; Carter and Gunning-Trant, 2010; Nuetah et al., 2011; Glauber and Westhoff, 2014; Countryman and Narayanan, 2017; Brink, Orden and Datz, 2017; Zhao, Miller and Thompson, in press). The effects of the implementation of NAFTA has been studied by the following: Knutson, Westhoff, and Sherwell (2010); Lewis and Schmitz (2015); Schmitz and Lewis (2015); Zahniser et al. (2015). More recent potential preferential trade agreements have also been analyzed such as TTIP and TPP by the following: Countryman and Muhammad (2017); Muhammad, Countryman and Heerman (2017) Scmitz et al. (2017). Special attention has been focused on agricultural trade with China as noted by Song et al. (2009); Tuan et al. (2010); Awokuse and Yin (2010); McCorriston and MacLaren (2010); Dean et al. (2011); Yeboah et al. (2012); Chen et al. (2012); Goodwin and Smith (2013); Muhammad et al. (2014); Muhammad (2015); Heerman et al. (2015); Marchant (2017); Hejazi et al. (2017a); Hejazi and Marchant (2017); Handson et al. (2017); Orden et al. (2017).

The impact of different domestic and foreign policies on agricultural markets have been analyzed by the following: Awokuse and Wang (2009); Schmitz et al. (2010); Bekkerman et al. (2012); Cooper (2010, 2009, 2009); Goodwin (2008, 2009); Goodwin, et al. (2011); Goodwin and Rejesus (2008); Harwood (2009); Mukherjee et al. (2013); Paulson and Babcock (2008); Paulson and Schnitkey (2012); Petrolia and Ibendahl (2008); Schmitz et al. (2009); Serra et al. (2011); Ubilava et al. (2011); and Zulauf and Orden (2010); Debnath et al. (2016); Zulauf and Orden (2016); Hoang (2017); Shaik (2017), Scalco et al. (2017); Lopez et al. (2018); Sun et al. (2017); Mach and Thompson (in press); Yu et al.  (in press). Specifically, the impact of food labeling policies on agricultural markets (e.g., country of origin labeling, genetically modified labeling) have also been explored by several researchers (Chung et al., 2009; Seok, Reed and Saghaian, 2016; Lewis et al., 2016a; Lewis et al., 2016b; Lewis and Grebitus, 2016; DeLong and Grebitus, in press; Syrengelas et al., in press; Heerman and Sheldon, working paper)  

Research has also examined US and international food security, food safety, and health issues: Schmitz and Kennedy (2016); Kennedy and Schmitz (2017); Schmitz, Kennedy, and Schmitz (2016a); Schmitz, Kennedy, and Schmitz (2016b); Countryman (2016); Gallagher(2011); Kennedy, Lewis, and Schmitz (2016); Schroeder and Meyers (2016b); Peterson and Grant (2017); Lewis et al. (2017); Countryman and Hagerman (2017); Muhammad et al. (2017).

Research has also examined domestic and foreign agricultural and energy markets (Gunden et al., 2011; Naanwaab and Yeboah, 2012; Yeboah et al., 2012; Yeboah and Shaik, 2012; Muhammad, 2013; Muhammad et al., 2013; Naanwaab and Yeboah, 2013; Yeboah et al., 2014; Muhammad et al., 2015; Schmitz et al. 2016; Sujarwo et al., 2016; Laajimi et al., 2016;  Heerman, 2016; Li et al., 2017; Kim et al., in press; Peterson and Grant, in press; Choi and Choi, in press a; Zhao et al., in press). For example, Kim et al. (in press) examined the dynamic and spatial relationships in US milled rice markets. Peterson and Grant (in press) examined the US fresh fruit and vegetable markets. A growing area of research involves the inter-relationships between trade and the environment (Verburg et al., 2008; Fooks et al., 2013; Kastner et al., 2011; Countryman et al., 2016; Enghiad et al. 2017; Grant et al., 2017). 

The studies investigating macroeconomic issues related to agriculture have examined the impacts of monetary and exchange rate adjustments on international trade. Some examples of this work include: Baek and Koo (2009, 2008, 2010, 2011); Bamba et al. (2008); Ge et al. (2010); Goswami and Nag (2012); Huchet-Bourdon and Cheptea (2011); Miljkovic and Paul (2008); Orden (2010); and Zhuang et al. (2008); Jones et al. (2013); Davis et al. (2014); Carvalho (2014); Garcia-Fuentes et al. (2016); Acemoglu et al. (2016); Schroeder and Meyers (2016a); Choi and Choi (in press b). 

Research conducted in the area of bioenergy/biofuel economics includes work that investigates land use changes and policies such as the renewable fuels standard (Sheldon and Roberts, 2008; Senauer, 2008; Motaal, 2008; Hertel et al., 2008; Keeney and Hertel 2008;  Gallagher(2010); Hertel and Beckman, 2010; Khanna et al., 2010; Lasco and Khanna, 2010; Meyer and Thompson, 2010; Lee and Sumner, 2010; Thompson, 2010; Thompson et al., 2011; Schmitz et al., 2011; Meyer et al., 2012; Liu et al., 2012; Switzer, 2012; Yeboah et al. 2013;  Gallagher and Sleper(2016); Whistance et al., 2017)..

A growing body of literature at the agriculture and trade nexus utilizes the gravity model. This literature evaluates the impact of non-tariff measures and trade agreements on trade (Grant and Lambert, 2008; Lambert and McKoy, 2009; Cipollina and Salvatici, 2010; Cissokho et al., 2013; Disdier et al., 2008; Disdier and Marette, 2010; Drogue and DeMaria, 2012; Grant, 2013; Grant and Boys, 2012; Haq et al., 2013; Karemera et al., 2011; Karemera et al., 2009; Li and Beghin, 2012; Olper and Raimondi, 2008; Raimondi and Olper, 2011; Saitone, 2012; Shepherd and Wilson, 2013; Tamini et al., 2010; Tran et al., 2012; Vigani et al., 2012; Wieck et al., 2012; and Winchester, 2012; Debnath et al., 2017). Beghin (2013) covers many of these topics with the gravity model and other approaches. 

As shown above, there is a vast literature examining agricultural trade and policy issues. This literature has been supported by members of S-1062. Given there are always changes to be analyzed regarding agricultural trade and policy, our proposed project objectives build on this literature and proposes to continue to research this topic. 

Related Projects

Currently only one multistate project is related to the international trade aspects of the proposed work. This project is W-3004: Marketing, Trade and Management of Aquaculture and Fishery Resources and it states that it will address trade issues of fishery products, but the connection to trade is a small part of the larger body of work of that project. In terms of agricultural policy, SERA-35: Delta Region Farm Management and Agricultural Policy Working Group is examining how farm policies influence the management of select agricultural producers in the Delta and surrounding regions. SERA-39: Public Policy Issues Education is focused on outreach efforts related to public policies of agriculture. NC-1189: Understanding the Ecological and Social Constraints to Achieving Sustainable Fisheries Resource Policy and Management examines fisheries policy with a focus on climate change and invasive species. NC1198: Renewing an Agriculture of the Middle: Value Chain Design, Policy Approaches, Environmental and Social Impacts examines mid-size farms and ranches. S-1067: Specialty Crops and Food Systems: Exploring Markets, Supply Chains and Policy Dimensions examines policies related to the fruit and vegetable sector. W-3190: Management and Policy Challenges in a Water-Scarce World examines policies related to water-use decisions. While the abovementioned projects touch on policies related to specific issues, they are vastly different than our proposal which examines broader-reaching policy issues and the intersection of trade and policy at a domestic and global level.  


  1. 1. Determine the impacts of U.S. and foreign policies, regulations, market structures, and productivity on U.S. food and agricultural trade, the economy, and the environment. Specifically, to examine the impact of the following
    Comments: a. foreign investment and multinational firms, b. international and national events and policies (e.g., Farm Bill, immigration and labor issues, food fraud, food labeling laws), and c. economic growth and changing policies of developing and emerging economies, including safeguards or other mechanisms that target food security.
  2. Determine the impacts of international trade agreements and institutions on U.S. food and agricultural trade, the economy, and the environment. Specifically, to examine the potential implications of the following:
    Comments: a. renegotiating preferential trade agreements (e.g., NAFTA), b. not engaging in preferential trade agreements (e.g. Trans Pacific Partnership), and c. future preferential trade agreements.


Methods to accomplish these objectives include econometrics, simulation, spatial and optimization models, and time series analysis. Market behavior, supply and demand along with risk and uncertainty will be studied using these methods. The economic impacts will focus on changes in output, value added, employment, the welfare of consumers and producers, and government expenditures. Measures of economic performance will focus on prices, trade, economies at the regional and national level, and the environment. In addition, we will develop new methods and extend existing methods to accomplish these objectives.


Objective 1: Determine the impacts of U.S. and foreign policies, regulations, market structures, and productivity on U.S. food and agricultural trade, the agricultural sector, the economy, and the environment. Specifically, research oriented toward this objective will seek to identify the effects of: i) foreign direct investment and multinational firms; ii) international and national events and policies; and iii) c.     economic growth and changing policies of developing and emerging economies, including safeguards or other mechanisms that target food security. The current state of affairs related to each of these sub-objectives is such that there is tremendous uncertainty in the area of U.S. food and agricultural trade. In the past five years, exporters of US agricultural goods have faced new restrictions for a variety of reasons (e.g. China restricting corn and/or dried distillers grain imports due to SPS restrictions on unapproved genetic traits, new TRQs in place for ethanol imports into Brazil, etc.) and have even sought to impose their own new restrictions (e.g. the sugar export restriction against Mexico and, potentially, biodiesel export restrictions against Argentina and Indonesia). This project will consider how these and other potential policy changes might affect food and agricultural trade.


For Objective 1, researchers will focus appropriate methods on selected trade or policy issues. In keeping with multistate collaboration, the issues were specifically selected by the committee because they represent the current state of affairs. The collective results will address the multi-dimensional aspects of international trade. The meta-themes of this goal include understanding the effects on agricultural trade of foreign direct investment and multinational firms, trade deficits, domestic and foreign policies and standards, and trade with developing economies. Individually and collectively the team will generate research to address these issues across multiple commodities and policies.


Regarding Objective 1a, specifically, there are multiple aspects of foreign direct investment (FDI) and multinational firms that researchers in this project propose to investigate. For example, researchers have identified a need to expand previous work that examine the impact of international capital movements on product trade and to expand on previous literature that studies the relationship between multinational firms, specifically multinational agriculture firms, and intellectual property rights (Florida). Another line of investigation would examine effects of trade deficit and FDI on countries’ gains from agricultural trade (Iowa). Other output might include estimates of the effects of Canadian FDI in the U.S. forestry industry in response to the Pine Beetle outbreak in Canada (Louisiana).


Objective 1b focuses primarily on the impact of specific events and policies in the U.S. and abroad and their effects on agricultural trade. The research questions and subsequent methods applied toward meeting this objective are wide-ranging. Many empirical trade models (e.g. the gravity model), general equilibrium models (e.g GTAP), and partial equilibrium models (e.g. FAPRI-MU) will be further developed and adapted to examine the relationships between policy announcements, or other major events, and international trade flows.


From a strictly trade policy perspective, researchers are proposing to develop econometric models to estimate the relationship between market access and barriers to entry (e.g. conditions, tariffs, non-tariff measures, etc.) that might hamper bilateral trade flows (North Carolina, North Dakota, Iowa). Specifically, they seek to put these results into perspective by examining state-level trade flows. Retaliatory measures and their effects have also been identified as an area for proposed research. In particular, researchers will seek to understand how such measures affect U.S. agricultural competitiveness in the global marketplace and how changes in trade flows might affect rural economies from both the production and consumption perspectives (Louisiana).


As the current farm bill is set to expire in 2018, there is particular interest in analyzing the impact of farm bills, past and present, as well as the impact of any potential changes in farm bill legislation that occur in the near term (Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota). A related research thrust will apply a simulation model to further examine how U.S. crop insurance premium subsidies affect international trade in relation to WTO agreements (Kansas).


We also anticipate a demand for scientific assessment of agricultural and biofuel policies after the near-term needs as the next farm bill takes shape (Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and North Dakota). Furthermore, China’s recently announced target of completely transitioning their motor gasoline use to a 10% ethanol blend by 2020 could have wide-ranging impacts on not only the trade flows of agricultural commodities (e.g. corn, distillers grains, and ethanol), but it could also have important consequences for the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, land use change, etc. Participants from Missouri anticipate partnering with other project participants to examine environmental effects that arise from such policy changes.


There is also potential for changes in U.S. immigration policy to affect bilateral trade flows between the U.S. and countries around the globe, and potential for such policy shifts to alter the output mix of U.S. agriculture. Further, the importance of migration on production-trade efficiency will be examined following the methods outlined in Glazyrina and Shaik (2011). Researchers in this project propose to develop econometric models to analyze the effects of immigration policy shocks on trade flows specific to East Asia and Latin America, and the extent to which the output mix U.S. livestock, fruit, and vegetable production is affected (North Carolina, North Dakota).


Researchers are also proposing to develop and apply economic tools to further investigate the effects of food fraud and food labeling laws in a globalized world (Tennessee, Wyoming). Typical ways of eliciting consumers’ preferences for food labeling laws and opinions of food fraud include using surveys and experimental approaches. For example, choice experiments, experimental auctions, and contingent valuation methods are typically used to determine consumers’ willingness to pay for different food labels.


Objective 1c covers the need for further research relating to food security issues and trade with developing economies. Several researchers have proposed further studies related to U.S.-Africa trade, in particular (Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Missouri, and North Dakota). Specifically, some studies will develop tools to highlight the importance of distribution in addressing food security (Florida, Louisiana), while others will apply input-output and dynamic gravity models to focus on the specific effects of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (North Dakota and North Carolina).


Others propose to undertake more commodity specific analyses, paying special attention to rice, cocoa, and coffee (Missouri, USDA). Methods include simulation models, demand system analysis, input allocation models, and other dynamic frameworks to assess how trade flows to developing countries have evolved over time and how they might continue to in response to different trade policies or consumer preferences.


Objective 2: Determine the impacts of international arrangements and institutions on U.S. food and agricultural trade, the economy, and the environment. Specifically, research oriented toward this objective will examine the impacts of: i) renegotiating existing preferential trade agreements; ii) pulling out of, or otherwise not engaging in, preferential trade agreements; and iii) future preferential trade agreements.


International institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are still significant players in international trade. Keeping up with changes in these institutions is vital to the movement of international trade. Previous work considered the impacts of new trade agreements, such as the recently signed FTAs with Colombia and Korea (KORUS) and the potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). However, there has been a recent push to reexamine or renegotiate some of these existing regional trade agreements (e.g. NAFTA and KORUS) and to pull out of other agreements entirely (e.g. TPP and Brexit) perhaps in favor of more bilateral trade agreements. Thus, there is a renewed effort to examine how these changes might affect agricultural trade and other sectors of the economy, in general. The project will also consider other agreements that do not include the U.S. such as COMESA and MERCOSUR that may affect U.S. trade relationships. In addition, it is important to determine the impact of existing and new trade agreements on the environment.


To meet objective 2a, researchers have proposed many projects that aim to investigate the effects of renegotiating preferential trade agreements. Of particular note are the analyses of NAFTA renegotiation talks that are in process at the time of writing. Previous iterations of this project examined the effects of NAFTA when it was first negotiated, and researchers have identified the need to revisit and expand those studies in light of any changes in the renegotiated terms (Florida, Louisiana, Ohio State, Missouri, and Tennessee)


Researchers have also identified a need to assess the impacts of withdrawing or pulling out of trade agreements. The motivation stems, in part, from the U.S. deciding to pull out of the TPP, and there is already research examining the potential cost of that withdrawal (Florida and Tennessee) There is also a motivation from the potential of a withdrawal from NAFTA and KORUS (Missouri and USDA) as well as the stagnation of a TTIP agreement between the U.S. and the EU.


Finally, there is some interest regarding future, or potential, preferential trade agreements. If the current aversion to large, multilateral trade agreements leads to a number of new bilateral agreements, researchers involved with this project are poised to examine the effects of these agreements on U.S. agricultural trade flows. (Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Iowa, and USDA).

Measurement of Progress and Results


  • Journal Articles
  • Books and Book Chapters
  • Professional Papers
  • Conference Presentations
  • Organized Conferences

Outcomes or Projected Impacts

  • Increase ability to understand and predict changes resulting from changes in trade agreements.
  • Increase ability to understand and predict changes resulting from changes in domestic policy.
  • More clientele exposure to trade research and information.


(2019):Organize and conduct organized symposia and invited paper sessions at regional, national, and international professional meetings and other fora to extend the applied research results obtained within this regional research project. 

(2020):Organize and conduct a major conference outlining the changes occurring in trade agreements and their effects on U.S. agriculture. 

(2021):Conduct a regional workshop related to emerging issues in trade agreements and their effects on important clientele groups and commodities in the United States. Proceedings from this conference will be disseminated as a web-based regional experiment station bulletin. 

Projected Participation

View Appendix E: Participation

Outreach Plan

Information will be made available to users through refereed and non-refereed articles, technical publications, as well as through organized symposia and selected papers at professional meetings, and books. In addition, the committee regularly sponsors, participates in, and/or organizes major regional and national conferences with both web access to proceedings and popular press coverage.


All members of this multi-state HATCH project are eligible for office. This organization is as follows: 

Officers: The chairperson is elected by the voting members to a one-year term and may be re-elected for additional terms of office. The chairperson, in consultation with the administrative advisor, notifies the committee members of the time and place of meetings, prepares the agenda, and presides at meetings of the committee and executive committee. He or she is responsible for preparing the annual report of the project. The existing S-1062 chairperson will serve as the chair of the new committee for a one-year term (through Fall 2018). Following the end of the chairperson’s term, the secretary of the project will then become chairperson.

Secretary: The secretary records the minutes and performs other duties assigned by the committee or the administrative advisor. He or she is elected by the voting members to a one-year term and will then become chair of the committee. The existing S-1062 secretary will serve as the secretary of the new committee for a one-year term (through Fall 2018). At that time, a new secretary for the new committee will be elected for a one-year term as secretary and then will become chair in the following year. 

Subcommittees: The Project has an executive committee that is designated to conduct the business of the committee between meetings and perform other duties as assigned by the committee. It consists of the Project chairperson, secretary, and two other members of the committee. These two members are elected by the voting members of the committee to one-year terms and may be reelected for additional terms of office. Other subcommittees are named by the chairperson as needed for specific assignments such as developing procedures, planning conferences, and preparing publications.

Literature Cited

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Glazyrina, A., S. Shaik. 2011. “Evaluating the Role of Migration on Technical Efficiency.” Selected prepared for presentation at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Corpus Christi, TX, February 5-8, 2011.

Gallagher, Paul, “International Price Transmission:  A Case Study of Corn Price Relationships between the US and African Markets”, Presented at The International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium (IATRC) annual meeting, December 13, 2011, St. Pete., Florida.

Gallagher, Paul, and Daniel Sleper “The market and consumer welfare effects of mid-level ethanol blends in the US fuel market”, Journal of Energy Policy 98(2016):149-159.

Gallagher, P., “Corn Ethanol Growth in the US without Adverse Foreign Land Use Change: Defining Limits and Devising Policies”, Biofuels, Bioprod., and Bioref.  4:296-309(2010).

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Hejazi, M. and M.A. Marchant. 2017. “China’s Evolving Agricultural Support Policies.” Choices. Quarter 2. Available online: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/choices-magazine/theme-articles/us-commodity-markets-respond-to-changes-in-chinas-ag-policies/chinas-evolving-agricultural-support-policies

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Hoang, H. “Analysis of food demand in Vietnam and impacts of short-term market shocks on quantity and calorie consumption.” Accepted for publication at Agricultural Economics. May, 2017.

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Kennedy, P.L., K. Lewis, and A. Schmitz, (2016), “Food Security through Biotechnology: The Double-Edged Sword of GM Crops” in World Agricultural Resources and Food Security, Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, Mass.: Elgar, pp. 250-271.

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Lewis, K.E., C. Grebitus, and R. Nayga, Jr. 2016a. “U.S. Consumer Preferences for Imported and Genetically Modified Sugar: Examining Policy Consequentiality in a Choice Experiment.” Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 65:1-8.

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Lewis, K.E., C. Grebitus, and R. Nayga, Jr. 2016b. “The Importance of Taste in Experimental Auctions: Consumers’ Valuation of Calorie and Sweetener Labeling of Soft Drinks.”   Agricultural Economics, 47:47-57.

Lewis, K.E. and T. G. Schmitz. 2015. “The Impact of Partial Mexican Government Ownership on U.S. and Mexican Sugar Trade.” Journal of Agribusiness, 33(1): 17-38.

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Martin, W., and K. Anderson. 2008. "Agricultural Trade Reform under the Doha Agenda: Some Key Issues." Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 52(1):1-16.

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Meyer, S., J. Binfield, and P. Westhoff. 2012. "Technology Adoption under US Biofuel Policies: Do Producers, Consumers or Taxpayers Benefit?" European Review of Agricultural Economics 39(1):115-136.

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Muhammad, A. 2013. “Estimating Import Demand in the Presence of Seasonal Trade and Unobserved Prices” Applied Economics Letters 20(5):446-51.

Muhammad, A, A Leister, L McPhail, & W Chen. 2014. “The Evolution of Foreign Wine Demand in China” Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 58:392-408.

Muhammad, A. 2015. “Price Risk and Exporter Competition in China’s Soybean Market” Agribusiness: An International Journal 31:188-97.

Muhammad, A, A D’Souza, & W Amponsah. 2013. “Violence, Instability, and Trade: Evidence from Kenya's Cut Flower Sector” World Development 51:20-31.

Muhammad, A, S Zahniser, & EG Fonsah. 2015. “A Dynamic Analysis of U.S. Banana Demand by Source: A Focus on Latin American Suppliers” International Journal of Trade and Global Markets 8: 281-96.

Muhammad, A, A D’Souza, B Meade, R Micha, & D Mozaffarian. 2017. “How Income and Food Prices Influence Global Dietary Intakes by Age and Sex: Evidence from 164 Countries” BMJ Global Health 2:e000184; DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000184.

Muhammad, A., Countryman, A. M., & Heerman, K. E. 2017. “Effects of Tariff Concessions on Japanese Beef Imports by Product and Source.” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 1- 20.

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Naanwaab, Cephas and Osei Yeboah, “Demand for Fresh Vegetables in the United States: 1970-2010,” Economics Research International; September 2012.

Ngeleza, GK, & A Muhammad “Preferential Trade Agreements between the Monetary Community of Central Africa and the European Union: Stumbling or Building Blocks? A General Equilibrium Approach” Journal of International Development 27 (2015): 251-72.

Naanwaab, Cephas and Osei Yeboah, “Determinants of Productivity in Africa: The Role of Economic Freedom; Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, vol.6 (32), April 2013.

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Peterson, E.B. and J.H. Grant. 2017. “Assessing the Impact of BSE Outbreak in US and Canada Using Historical Simulations.” Center for Agricultural Trade Working Paper CAT- 2017-01, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, July 2017.

Peterson, E. and J.H. Grant. In Press. “Survival of the Fittest: Export Duration and Failure into United States Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Markets,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

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