International Agricultural Trade



International agricultural trade has been described as inexplicable, exasperating, and the most distorted segment of the global economy. Nevertheless, its importance grows as production surpasses domestic demand. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reports that the United States is the world’s largest agricultural exporter, with almost one quarter of farm cash receipts coming from export markets. International agricultural trade involves many different areas of international and domestic law, including international treaties and agreements, domestic trade laws, and general policy decisions. This overview focuses on these broad concepts in the large, intricate subject area of international agricultural trade. Read the full overview.

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes (United States)

United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation, 19 U.S.C. §§ 4501 – 4732
Customs Duties, 19 U.S.C. Title 19
Negotiation and Implementation of Trade Agreements, 19 U.S.C. §§ 2901-2906
Trade Agreements Act of 1979, 19 U.S.C. §§ 2501-2582
Trade Act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. §§ 2101-2497b
States’ Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Statutes
Food for Peace Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1431; 1691; 1701-1708; 1721-1728(b); 1231-1738r
Uruguay Round Trade Agreements Act, 19 U.S.C. §§ 3501; 3511-3572; 3581-3592; 3601-3624
Foreign Market Development, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1761-1769
Surplus Disposal of Agricultural Commodities, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1854-1856; 1859-1860
Agricultural Trade Suspension Adjustment Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4001-4005
Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, 7 U.S.C. §§ 5601-5607; 5621-5641; 5651-5653; 5661-5680; 5691-5695; 5711-5713; 5721-5723
Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2002 19 U.S.C. §§ 3801-3813
Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. §§ 1202; 1301-1367; 1401-1654; 1671-1677(n); 1681-1681b

Regulations (United States)

Export Sales Reporting Requirements, 7 C.F.R. §§ 20.1-20.12
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Regulations, 7 C.F.R. Parts 300-380
Grant Agreements For The Development of Foreign Markets for U.S. Agricultural Commodities, 7 C.F.R. Parts 1485
Foreign Agriculture Service Regulations, 7 C.F.R. Parts 1520-1599
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Regulations, 9 C.F.R. Parts 1-199
Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Regulations, 9 C.F.R. §§ 322.1-322.5
Food Safety and Inspection Service Import Regulations, 9 C.F.R §§ 327.1-327.26
Federal Register Rules Open for Comment

Case Law

United States Case Law

Case Law Index for International Trade

International Case Law

UN Commission on Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
Case Law (CLOUT)

Administrative Law Decisions

USDA Office of the Administrative Law Judges
USDA Office of the Judicial Officer
USDA National Appeals Division
Center published USDA Judicial Officer’s Decisions
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Rulings
U.S. International Trade Commission Investigations

Center Research Publications

Aquaculture and the Lacey Act – PowerPoint Presentation (Springsteen, 2010)
Nation-Specific Risk Tolerance in the WTO: US-Continued Suspension of Obligations in the EC-Hormones Dispute (Peck, 2009)
International Legal Issues Concerning Animal Cloning and Nanotechnology — More of the Same or Are “The Times They Are A-Changin’”? (Roberts, 2008)
Private Standards in the Global Food Sector: Relationship to WTO Agreements – PowerPoint Presentation (Roberts, 2008)
Introduction to Food Law in the People’s Republic of China (Roberts, 2007)
A Comparison of International Animal Identification Programs (Pendergrass, 2007)
Summary of the WTO Interim Report in EC-Biotech (Peck, 2006)
From the Farm to the Factory: An Overview of the American and European Approaches to Regulation of the Beef Industry (Houston, 2006)
World Trade Organization and the Commodity Title of the Next Farm Bill: A Practitioner’s View (O’Brien, 2006)

Congressional Research Service Reports (United States)

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017
Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

Trade Regulation and Antitrust
International Agriculture

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on International Trade:

Alien Land Ownership (Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land)
Farm Policy and Legislative Analysis
International Trade
Trade Regulation and Antitrust

Reference Resources

United States Department of Agriculture

Animal and Plant Inspection Service (APHIS)

Laws and Regulations
Import and Export
Permits and Certification
International Animal Export Regulations

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Regulations and Requirements
Tracking Regulatory Changes of WTO Members
Data and Analysis
Countries and Regions
Trade Policy
Trade Agreements

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Global Markets and Trade (2020)
Countries and Regions
International Markets & U.S. Trade
Global Food Security
Macroeconomics and Agriculture
Trade Policy and World Trade Organization
U.S.  Agricultural Trade
Publications: International Markets and U.S. Trade
Data Products: International Markets and Trade


Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade
U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update
Outlook Reports
International Markets & U.S. Trade Reports

Food and Drug Administration International Programs

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015
Import Safety
Intellectual Property Rights
Strategy for Facilitating and Securing Trade into the U.S.
Protecting Agriculture
Fact Sheets
Informed Compliance Publications
Bringing Agricultural Products into the U.S.
Summary of Laws Enforced by CBP
Commodities Subject to Import Quotas

International Trade Administration (ITA)

Export Solutions

Food and Agriculture Value Chain
Regulations and Agreements

U.S. Free Trade Agreements

State Department

Agricultural Policy
Agricultural Trade
Division for Trade Policy and Negotiations
Treaties and International Agreements
International Claims and Investment Disputes
Economic Prosperity and Trade Policy
International Business and Development

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)

U.S. Free Trade Agreements (Office of the United States Trade Representative)
Trade Agreements
Trade Toolbox

Other Federal Resources

National Organic Program: International Trade Partners (AMS)
International Activities Related to Pesticides (EPA)
U.S. Court of International Trade
Agriculture & Food Security (USAID)
U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)

International Resources

World Trade Organization (WTO)


Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, 1994
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947)
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994
Agreement on Agriculture
Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

WTO in Agriculture

Domestic Support
Negotiations, Implementation and Development: The Doha Agenda
Agriculture Negotiations
Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration
Agricultural Trade Statistics

WTO Disputes

Index of WTO Agricultural Cases: Disputes by Agreement
WTO Dispute Cases Organized by Subject
WTO Chronological List of All Dispute Cases
Dispute Statistics

WTO Resources

World Trade Report 2022 Climate Change and International Trade
World Trade Organization Library
WTO Documents and Resources
WTO Documents Online (1995- )
GATT Documents
Trade-Related Ministries of WTO Members and Observers
International Intergovernmental Organizations Granted Observer Status to WTO Bodies
The WTO and Other Organizations
Regional Trade Agreements Database
Trade Topics
Economic Research and Analysis
WTO Legal Texts
WTO Trade and Tariff Data
WTO Publications

Trade Agreements of International Regional Organizations

EU Trade-Related Agreements
EU-Canada: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
EU Trade Relations with the United States

AU Trade-Related Agreements
Abuja Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community

ASEAN Free Trade Agreements with Dialogue Partners

Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA)
The Dickenson Bay Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Trade Association (1966)
Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy
Protocol V: Agricultural Policy Protocol Amending the Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community
MERCOSUR (Southern Common Market)
Treaty Establishing a Common Market Between the Argentine Republic, the Federal Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Paraguay and the Eastern Republic of Uruguay
Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative (MEFTA)
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Free Trade Agreements and Regional Trading Agreements

International Chamber of Commerce

Resources for Business
Trade Finance

United Nations

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030
Reports on the State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (2022)
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
UNCTAD: Publications


UNCITRAL: Online Resources and Webcasts
UNCITRAL: Library and Research Resources
UNCITRAL: Publications
UNCITRAL: Working Documents
International Commercial Arbitration
International Commercial Mediation
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards
Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Electronic Commerce
Online Dispute Resolution
United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) of 1980
Convention on the Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods of 1974
International Transport of Goods

Agri-Food Trade Issues (Government of Canada)

International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development

European Union

EU Agriculture
Summaries of EU Legislation on Agriculture
Agricultural Markets (European Commission)
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

OECD Agriculture and Fisheries

OECD Agriculture Trade

World Bank

Documents & Reports on Agricultural Trade
Projects in Agriculture
Projects in Industry and Trade

Additional Resources

Key Issues in WTO Agriculture Negotiations (CRS Report, 2021)
Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (CRS, 2021)
U.S. Trade Debates: Select Disputes and Actions (CRS, 2021)
Introduction to the Yale Symposium on Trade Law Under the Trump Administration (Claussen, Grewal 2018)
Geographical Indications in U.S. Food and Agricultural Trade (CRS, 2017)
The WTO Brazil-U.S. Cotton Case (CRS, 2014)
Symposium: International Trade in the Trump Era, Yale Journal of International Law
International Trade Law (Legal Information Institute – Cornell)
International Economic Law (American Society of International Law)
Institute of International Commercial Law (Pace U. School of Law)
WTO/GATT Research (New York Univ. Law Library)
International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium
Kozolchyk National Law Center
The Center for International Environmental Law: Trade publications


Glossary of Customs Terms (Automated System for Customs Data)
WTO Glossary
EU Access to Markets Glossary
ERS Agricultural Trade Multipliers: Glossary
Trade Glossary (Farm Foundation)
USTR Glossary of Trade Terms


Short Supply Conditions and the Lwa of International Trade: Economic Lessons from the Pandemic (Alan O. Sykes, 2020)
Trade Law and Supply Chain Regulation in a Post-COVID-19 World (Timothy Meyer, 2020)
Reimagining Trade Agreements for Workers: Lessons from the USMCA (Álvaro Santos, 2019)
2018 International Trade Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit (Underwood, 2018)
The Role of Trade in Structural Transformation (Marc Teignier, 2017)
Groundwater Depletion embedded in International Food Grade (Dalin, Wada, Kastner, Puma, 2017)
Using a Functional Approach to Test Trending Volatility (Guerrero, Herdandez-del-Valle, Juarez-Torres)
International Institutions and Interest Mobilization: The WOT and Lobbying in EU and US Trade Policy (Biervre, Poletti, Hanegraaf, Byers, 2016)
Analyzing collective Trade Policy Actions in Response to Cyclical Risk in Agricultural Production: The Case of the International Wheat Market (Kennedy, Lee, 2016)
Structural Transformation of the Agricultural Sector: A Primer (Divanbeigi, Paustian, Loayza, 2016)
Interplay Between the WTO Treaty and Other International Legal Instruments and Tribunals: Evolution after 20 years of WTO Jurisprudence (Pauwelyn, 2016)
Should the Green Box Be Modified? (International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council, 2007)
The Limits of American Generosity (Bhala, 2006)
U.S. Agricultural Export Credits after the WTO Cotton Ruling: The Law of Unintended Consequences (Benitah, 2005)
International Trade in Ag Products: A Research Guide (Peoples, OK City U., 2004)
International Agricultural Trade Disputes: Case Studies in North America (Schmitz et al., 2003)
Food Aid and Commercial International Food Trade (Barrett, 2002)
The Appellate Body Rulings in the Shrimp/Turtle Case: A New Legal Baseline for the Trade and Environment Debate (Howse, 2002)
Europe’s Evolving Regulatory Strategy for GMOs – The Issue of Consistency with WTO Law: Of Kine and Brine (Howse & Mavroidis, 2000)
Competition Policy and International Agricultural Trade (MacLaren & Josling, 1999)