The International Sugar Agreements: Promise and Reality

Purdue University Press, 2004 - 350页
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Large fluctuations in the price of primary-in particular agricultural-commodities began to receive the attention of economists and public affairs leaders at the beginning of the twentieth century. The world economic depression of the 1930s gave a new impetus to the concerns and to proposals for countering what became known as the problem of "excessive price fluctuations," especially of commodities in international trade. Several options were investigated, including: extended agreements for the purchase and sale of commodities; buffer stock; preferably internationally managed export quotas; or various combinations of these three. After World War II, proposals for international action to alleviate the problem became widespread. Under the guidance of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Commodity Agreements (ICAs) were presented as a solution to the world's economic ills and problems, especially for lower income countries. Five full-fledged ICAs— for wheat, sugar, coffee, tin, and cacao — were negotiated and put into effect. In addition, international consultative discussion "groups" were established for a large number of commodities, especially under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). However, reality did not follow the promises of theory. During the 1980s every one of the five ICAs collapsed, some with devastating economic consequences. Among the ICAs, the Market Management Agreements on sugar had the longest existence, involved the largest number of countries, and were the best administered, but still did not survive. This volume, an insider's story on the negotiations and administration of the agreements on sugar, is the first detailed analysis of the rise and fall of an ICA . Viton presents a unique history of the sugar ICA and discusses the inevitable shortsightedness of long-term international economic management while contending that creating arrangements that promote international study and discussion about commodity developments and problems may be more productive in the long run.

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The Years of Preparation 194753
The First Agreement 195356
Renegotiation and Renewal 195658
A New Agreement and Collapse 195860
The Wilderness Years 196167
Towards A New Agreement 196568
The Third Agreement 196873
Prosperity and Poverty 197377
The Agreement in Operation 197884
The Final Collapse 198384
Retrospect and Prospect
Select Bibliography

The Fourth Agreement 197778

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作者简介 (2004)

Albert Viton received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and then initially became involved in the planning, production, and distribution of agricultural commodities in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and, after 1946, in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Before retiring as a senior director in 1976, one of the author's major responsibilities was to represent FAO in all international sugar negotiations, conferences, and meetings. He was a member of the preparatory committee for the first international sugar agreement (1947-52) chaired by Baron Kronacker of Belgium and a member of the "Troika" chaired by Dr. Raul Prebisch, Director General of UNCTAD, who was in charge of the price and quota negotiations of the 1967 agreement. He authored two volumes on sugar published jointly by FAO and the International Sugar Organization, London, as well as a couple of dozen articles and reports on sugar. After retiring from FAO in 1976, Dr. Viton continued until 1997 to participate in international sugar affairs and to attend all meetings and conferences of the International Sugar Organization as economic consultant of the sugar delegation of El Salvador and subsequently of the Philippines. He holds the longest record, by far, of participation in ISO meetings and conferences. His studies on the world sugar economy have appeared in F.O. Licht's International Sugar Report, the F.O. Licht Sugar Yearbook, Sugar Y Azucar, and other journals. Dr. Viton now makes his home in the northern Virginia area of Washington, DC.