Strong evidence has shown that increased agricultural productivity and opened international trade are required to maintain and enhance food security. The multilateral trading system has been unable to keep trade open for one subset of agricultural products – those that use biotechnology in production. This chapter assesses whether preferential trade agreements can represent potential alternative sources of trade rules for dealing with trade in the products of biotechnology. This chapter analyzes and compares three case studies of preferential trade agreements (Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Trans-Pacific Partnership), by focusing on negotiations pertaining to products of biotechnology. The three preferential trade agreements have shown little inventiveness in their attempts to put in place rules of trade for the products of modern agricultural biotechnology and have established forums where only issues can be discussed. They are forums to talk and talk without any means to force closure on negotiations. Given the inability to deal with the issue of biotechnology at the WTO or other multilateral forums, the recent and current negotiations of major preferential agreements represent the second best alternative which still needs to be analyzed and still needs to be understood by policy makers, academics, and the population at large. This chapter represents a first step in that direction.

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Keywords Biotechnology, Food security, Preferential trade agreements, Standards
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Series Frontiers of Economics and Globalization
Viju, C, Smyth, S.J. (Stuart J.), & Kerr, W.A. (William A.). (2017). Agricultural biotechnology and food security: Can CETA, TPP, and TTIP become venues to facilitate trade in GM products?. Frontiers of Economics and Globalization. doi:10.1108/S1574-871520170000017013