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 Statutes

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

North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, 19 U.S.C.§§ 3301; 3331-3421; 3431-3451; 3461-3473

Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. §§ 1202; 1301-1367; 1401-1654; 1671-1677(n); 1681-1681b


Regulations (United States)

States’ Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Statutes

Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 1691-1693; 1701-1708; 1721-1728(b); 1231-1738r

Uruguay Round Trade Agreements Act, 19 U.S.C. §§ 3501; 3511-3572; 3581-3592; 3601-3624

Agriculture-Related Provisions, 19 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3601; 3611; 3621-3624

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

North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, 19 U.S.C.§§ 3301; 3331-3421; 3431-3451; 3461-3473

Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. §§ 1202; 1301-1367; 1401-1654; 1671-1677(n); 1681-1681b

        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)
Guangdong Agriculture Co. Ltd. etc. (case 41)


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 Practioner’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 – Agreements
Trade – Disputes
Trade – Miscellaneous
Trade – Sanctions


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)

Import and Export
Permits and Certification
International Animal Export Regulations

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

Regulations and Requirements
Tracking Regulatory Changes of WTO Members
Data and Analysis
Countries and Regions
Trade Policy
World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) : Publications

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Global Markets and Trade (2018)
Countries and Regions
Food Safety and International Trade
New Directions in Global Food Markets
Global Food Security
Macroeconomics and Agriculture
Trade Policy and World Trade Organization
Macroeconomics and Agriculture
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

Food and Drug Administration International Programs

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Fact Sheets:

Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 – Overview
Dog and Cat Protection Act
CTAC: A Center for Sharing Import Safety Data
Import Safety
Intellectual Property Rights
Strategy for Facilitating and Securing Trade into the U.S.
Protecting Agriculture
Publications: Trade
Informed Compliance Publications
Bringing Agricultural Products into the U.S.
Summary of Laws Enforced
Commodities Subject to Import Quotas

Export Guides

U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration

U.S. Free Trade Agreements

State Department

The USA National Report on Agriculture, Rural Development, Land, Drought, Desertification and Africa (2008)
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

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

Trade Agreements in US Agriculture

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
NAFTA Dispute Resolution
Index of NAFTA Agriculture Cases


Other Federal Resources

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

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)

Geographical Indications in U.S.-EU Trade Negotiations (CRS In Focus Summary)

The WTO Brazil-U.S. Cotton Case (CRS In Focus Summary)

Revisiting U.S.-Mexico Sugar Agreements (CRS In Focus Summary)

International Trade and Tariff Data System

International Trade Administration


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

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
General overview of active WTO Dispute Settlement Cases
Cases Launched by EU
Complaints Against EU
EU as Third Party

WTO Resources

Index of Dispute Issues
World Trade Organization Library
WTO Documents and Resources
WTO Documents Online (1995- )
GATT Digital Library (1947-1994, Stanford U. Library)
Gatt Documents (1946-2000, WTO)
Trade-Related Ministries of WTO Members and Observers
International Intergovernmental Organizations Granted Observer Status to WTO Bodies
Trade-Related Multilateral Governmental Organizations
Regional Trade Agreements
Trade Topics
Trade Law Resources
Economic Research and Analysis
WTO Legal Texts
WTO Trade and Tariff Data
WTO Publications

Trade Agreements of International Regional Organizations

EU Trade-Related Agreements
Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
Framework for Advancing Transatlantic Economic Integration Between the USA and the EU, 30 April 2007
AU Trade-Related Agreements
Abuja Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Trade-Related Agreements
CARICOM Agreements (Caribbean Community and Common Market)

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
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

FTAA Founding Documents

Third Draft FTAA Agreement, Nov. 3, 2003
Negotiating Group on Agriculture
Hemisphere Trade and Tariff Data Base
Middle East Free Trade Area Initiative (MEFTA)
APEC 2007 Leaders’ Declaration
APEC 1994 Leaders’ Declaration

Listing of Other Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements

Autonomous International Instruments

UNCITROL Endorsed Instruments
Incoterms 2010
European Union Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP)
GSP Regulation No. 980/2005

International Chamber of Commerce

Commercial Law Tools
Trade Finance
Investment Guidelines
ICC Digital Library
ICC Document Archive
ICC World Chambers Federation

United Nations

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Reports on the State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (2018)
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL)
Bibliography of Recent Writings Related to the Work of UNCITRAL
Online Resources and Webcasts
Library and Research Resources
Commission on International Trade Law: Publications
Working Documents
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD)
Trade and Development Report 2018
UN Conference on Trade and Development Publications
Trade and development aspects of insurance services and regulatory frameworks (UNCTAD/DITC/TNCD/2007/4), 01/12/07
Developing Countries in International Trade 2007: Trade and Development Index (NCTAD/DITC/TAB/2007/2), 01/10/07
UNCTAD BioTrade Initiative: BioTrade Principles and Criteria (UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2007/4), 01/09/07
Malawi and the Multilateral Trading System: The Impact of WTO Agreements, Negotiations and Implementation (UNCTAD/DITC/TNCD/2005/18), 01/11/06


International Commercial Arbitration
International Commercial Mediation
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards-the “New York” Convention of 1958 International Sale of Goods (CISG)
Procurement and Infrastructure Development

Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Electronic Commerce
Security Interests
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
Security Interests
The UNCITRAL Convention on the Assignment of the Receivables in the International Trade of 2001
International Payments 
United Nations Convention on Independent Guarantees and Stand-by Letters of Credit of 1995
United Nations Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes of 1988
International Transport of Goods
United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade of 1991
United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea-the “Hamburg Rules” of 1978 Electronic Commerce
United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts of 2007
Consumer Protection Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly on 22 December 2015 (70/186)
United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (A/163/438)

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)
Delegation of the European Union to the United States: Agriculture Policy
Delegation of the European Union to the United States: Public Health & Consumer Protection
European Union Legal Materials: An Infrequent User’s Guide (Duncan Alford)

Agriculture & Fisheries:

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

OECD Agriculture and Fisheries

World Bank

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

Additional Resources

Introduction to the Yale Symposium on Trade Law Under the Trump Administration (Claussen, Grewal 2018)
Symposium: International Trade in the Trump Era, Yale Journal of International Law
Basic Info and Online Sources for NAFTA and CAFTA Research (Avalos and Garmon)
International Trade Posts (Ag & Food Law Blog)
International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council
International Trade Law (World Legal Information Institute)
International Trade Law (Legal Information Institute – Cornell)
International Economic Law (ASIL)
Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) Database (Pace U. School of Law)
Lex Mercatoria International Trade Law
Revised Guide to International Trade Law sources on the Internet (LLRX)
WTO/GATT Research (New York Univ. Law Library)’s Trade Law Library
International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium
The German Marshall Fund of the United States
National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade
International Trade Regulation of Agricultural Products (Infography,com)


Glossary of Customs Terms (Automated System for Customs Data)
FAO – Food and Agricultural Data
WTO Glossary
EU External Trade Glossary
ERS/USDA Data – Agricultural Trade Multipliers: Glossary
Trade Glossary (Farm Foundation)
Glossary of Terms Relating to Agricultural Trade (Agritrade)
Glossary of Trade & Shipping Terms
Glossary of International Trade (Federation of International Trade Ass’n.)
Defra, U.K.-Animal Health and Welfare-International Trade-Glossary
Glossary of Trade Terms (U.S. State Rep.)


2018 International Trade Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit (Underwood, 2018)

International Trade and Deforestation: Potential Policy Effects via a Global Economic Model (USDAERS, 2017)

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)

Do Markets and Trade Help or Hurt the Global Food System Adapt to Climate Change? (Brown, et al., 2017) (not found open source)

Reducing Transatlantic Barriers on U.S.-EU Agri-food Trade: What are the Possible Gains? (Arita, Beckman, Mitchell, 2017) (not found open source)

Market Approval of Phytosanitary Active substances in Europe: an empirical Duration analysis (Aka, 2017) (not found open source)

International Institutions and Interest Mobilization: The WOT andf 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 I(nternational 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)

GMO Litigation (Laney, 2016)

The Center for International Environmental Law: Trade publications

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)

Right to Food Principles Vis a Vis Rules Governing International Trade (Gray, 2003)

Food Aid and Commercial International Food Trade (Barrett, 2002)

Structural Change as a Source of Trade Disputes Under NAFTA (Loyns et al., Agricultural and Food Policy Systems Information Workshop, 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)