Tariff Escalation and Invasive Species Risk

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2005-10-01
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Tu, Anh
Gozlan, Estelle
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Beghin, John
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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We investigate the interface between trade and invasive species (IS) risk, focusing on the existing tariff escalation in agro-forestry product markets and its implication for IS risk. Tariff escalation in processed agro-forestry products exacerbates the risk of IS by biasing trade flows toward increased trade of primary commodity flows and against processed-product trade. We show that reducing tariff escalation by lowering the tariff on processed goods increases allocative efficiency and reduces the IS externality, a win-win situation. We also identify policy menus for trade reforms involving tariffs on both raw input and processed goods, leading to winwin situations.

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