The free trade agenda in agriculture has been set by and for the agricultural industry. Smallholder farmers around the world are faltering by reducing tariffs and reducing subsidies and price controls, if they ever existed. Meanwhile, subsidized agricultural products from the US and the EU are able to flood local markets and undermine what can be produced locally. It is not surprising that Korean farmers have been at the forefront of mobilizations against the Korea-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the WTO and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, or that campesinos in Mexico, Central and South America have mobilized against the WTO, NAFTA, NAFTA, NAFTA and various bilateral free trade agreements. “Sixty percent of arable land in sub-Saharan Africa is seven hours away from a market of only 25,000 people. In the shittest streets imaginable. We could liberalize all the trade policies we like, but these people cannot even engage within countries. This should include the right to ban imports to protect domestic production and genuine land reform to allow farmers and small and medium-scale producers access to land. At its fifth international conference in Maputo, Mozambique, in November 2008, Via Campesina pledged to double down on its fight against free trade agreements and EPAs after demanding the abolition of all WTO negotiations on food production and marketing and all regional and bilateral agreements. Agriculture is controversial in other bilateral free trade agreements. “Tariffs are the best thing to follow,” says IFRI`s Glauber. “Most of the benefits of liberalization come from reducing tariffs.” “If you have WalMart — the largest food retailer in the U.S. — and they insist on the Sustainability Goals for their suppliers, food companies like Pepsi need to respond,” he said. “And it feeds even the peasants who produce the plants they grow.” Agricultural industry lobbies have generally criticised the tendency of bilateral free trade agreements to exclude sensitive foodstuffs and agricultural products.
Today, free trade agreements are often used to impose open markets for agricultural products that have been excluded from previous trade negotiations and also to target non-tariff barriers such as food-related product standards. . . .