The Role of Markets and Trade in Food Security

Achieving greater global food security is a noble goal and, many would argue, a moral responsibility. It is also squarely in the self-interest of the United States, because hunger causes unrest and instability, which in turn affect U.S. national security and commercial interests. Global food security requires a multi-pronged strategy. Increased investment in research and development and improvements to production capacity are absolutely vital to increase the availability of food and meet increased demand. Usually less emphasized but equally crucial for boosting productivity and availability of food is the existence of markets. Markets and trade also contribute to achieving global food security by increasing access to food.

The U.S. commitment to promoting global food security is strong, and emphasizing the importance of open trade in enhancing global food security is a logical extension of U.S. policy. This report outlines four priority areas in which the United States can take concrete actions to strengthen markets and trade—trade capacity building, support for regional integration, and reform of the international agricultural trade system and domestic U.S. policies.

Kimberly Ann Elliott

Kristin Wedding and Charlotte Hebebrand