Comments on trade commitment compatibility and wto legality of possible industrial policy measures to promote the competitiveness of south african processed fruit exports

The purpose of this document is to consider possible industrial policy measures that could be contemplated by the South African Government to provide support for the export competitiveness of the country’s processed fruit products. It follows an earlier analysis by Don Ross, which argued for the conclusion that the industry meets key criteria for economically justifiable industrial policy assistance. That is, it offers a premium product that can be amplified in value by brand strengthening, can be positioned more advantageously than at present in international value chains, and would benefit from an environment made more competitive by liberalization of international trade practices and reduction in management of input prices (chiefly tin plate and sugar). In short: the main factors now limiting the competitiveness of the industry’s exports derive neither from its product characteristics nor from independent market dynamics, but from exogenous constraints that are in principle correctible by policy.
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