Guide To Foreign Crop Subsidies and Tariffs
CERI Staff Report
February 2007
Back to navigation page.


The summary tables for the seven crops (corn, cotton, rice, sorghum, soybeans, sugar, and wheat) are comprised of three sections.  The first two, direct support instruments and indirect support instruments, detail some of the ways governments intervene in the agricultural sector.  The third section provides production, consumption, and trade shares of each of the countries under consideration.  These statistics are an average of the last three marketing years. 

Direct support includes commodity specific price support programs, direct payments to producers that support whole farm income that are not tied to the production of a specific commodity, and supply control programs aimed at controlling crop production.  Import tariffs are further defined into single rate tariffs and two-tier tariffs (tariff rate quota).  Major categories of input subsidies are included but not limited to those for fertilizer, irrigation, seed, and electricity and fuel.

Indirect support includes programs or industry structures that impact terms of trade but not necessarily in ways directly linked to producers.  State trading refers to state supported single desk commodity trading.  Sanitary import controls refer not to whether a nation has a policy to limit the importation of goods under sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) guidelines, but refers to whether trade in a given commodity to that country is currently restricted due to SPS measures.  Long-term investment assistance refers to governmental support given to ancillary industries (e.g. fuel ethanol).  Credit subsidies may be a form of input subsidy if they are provided for production agriculture, but they also include credit to support marketing activities by both producers and downstream processors and traders.  Transportation and storage subsidies refer to assistance provided to the agricultural industry to manage and subsidize the shipment and handling of commodities as they enter the marketing channel. 

Each marker in the crop tables is referenced in the country descriptions that follow in the next section.  However, some policy tools have not been reported in the tables.  Support for research and development, for example, has not been included because such support is either used in some degree by all countries, is sporadic in application, and/or cannot be separated by commodity.  The same holds true for investments that improve a nationŐs infrastructure.