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Center for North American Studies


This proposal describes the implementation of the Center for North American Studies (CNAS) and the development of Center programs in research and policy analysis, training and education, and cooperative study involving the United States, Mexico, and Canada. <P>
The specific objectives of the programs of the CNAS are to: <OL> <LI> develop institutional linkages with internationally recognized agricultural programs in Mexico, Canada and other countries important to North American agricultural trade<LI> develop cooperative research programs to investigate priority issues related to growing North American trade in agricultural and food products<LI> evaluate the trade impacts of alternative farm, market, trade, and macroeconomic policies in each of the three countries<LI> develop training programs designed to prepare agricultural and agribusiness firms for international opportunities and competition.</OL>Priority programs of CNAS include assessing impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and other policies on regional competition, facilitating the international marketing of food and agricultural products via workshops and training, analysis of the impacts of trade policies and farm programs on agriculture in the region, monitoring progress of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and reviewing World Trade Organization provisions and policies and their impacts on North American agriculture. Analytical capability will be enhanced to assist in the assessment of changes in economic conditions, trade policies, and farm programs in the United States and other countries for producers of wool and mohair, sugar, peanuts, cotton, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, aquiculture, beef cattle and swine, feed grains, wheat and rice. Increased funding will allow the Center to address emerging educational and research needs related to international marketing and cross-border operations, trade and the environment, the acceptance and impacts of genetically modified organisms and new technology, market and price analysis, international market development, and the impacts of antidumping and countervailing duty actions. The competitiveness of U.S. agriculture will be enhanced by the development of new programs to stimulate market development for both feed and food grains, the analysis of policy and trade impacts, the application of new technologies, and value-added industry. CNAS will alos analyze the economic impacts of trade policies, farm programs, invasive species, and immigrant labor policies on agriculture and the broader economy of the region.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The objective of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), implemented on January 1, 1994, is the elimination and phased reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. NAFTA also sets the stage for further trade liberalization among Western Hemisphere nations such as a the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The growth in North American trade and associated economic integration will create the need and opportunity for cooperation to address pressing agricultural trade and food issues. Examples include economic and trade relationships for food and agricultural products, international trade policies, assessing impacts of food and agricultural bio-terrorism, natural resource and environmental problems, food safety and nutrition, food marketing and distribution, plant and animal production technology, availability of migrant and other labor, and potentially conflicting domestic farm policies. The Center for North American Studies project was created to respond to the needs and opportunities created by the increased agricultural trade and economic integration resulting from NAFTA and other trade agreements and policy changes. CNAS promotes strong agricultural ties among the United States, Mexico, and Canada in an effort to expand trade relationships with the United States' most important trading partners. CNAS attempts to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. agriculture, and fosters greater cooperation among the three countries in resolving critical agricultural issues of common interest. <P>

APPROACH: The strategy for this next project period will be to expand the number of projects to maximize the Center's impact. In keeping with the multi-national emphasis of the Center, one of the primary goals will be to develop working relationships with collaborators in Canada, Mexico and other countries important to North American agricultural trade. The projects to be undertaken as a part of this annual plan of work are described under the three program initiatives of Research and Policy Analysis, Training and Education, and Cooperative Study. For Research and Policy Analysis initiatives, CNAS personnel will conduct North American Competition Studies in an effort to evaluate the impacts of NAFTA on the competitiveness of key U.S., Mexican and Canadian food and agriculture industries. Center researchers will also conduct analyses of trade, agricultural, macroeconomic, and other policies. This will allow us to develop the capability to respond to requests from the U.S. Congress and others regarding the impacts of macroeconomic, farm, and trade policy changes on the agricultural economies of Canada, Mexico, the United States, and other countries important to North American agriculture. The input/output software IMPLAN will be used to estimate the direct and indirect economic impacts of policies and other events on Texas and U.S. agriculture. For Training and Education initiatives, Center personnel will conduct training and education programs for producers, agribusiness firms, and policy makers. Developing training programs to provide cutting-edge market intelligence and management to farms and agribusinesses will assist these constituents to participate in expanding trade opportunities and adjusting to import competition. CNAS will also work to revise graduate and undergraduate business and agribusiness programs to provide graduates with an increased ability to operate in the emerging global economies of North America. For Cooperative Study initiatives, CNAS researchers will develop databases of statistical information and research literature to support analysis, training, and cooperative studies on North American food and agricultural issues. CNAS will also facilitate cooperative research and programming among of faculty and students from U.S., Mexican, and Canadian universities and other institutions to broaden educational experiences and enhance cooperation.

Rosson, C. Parr
Texas A&M University
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