Monthly Archives: October 2005

Europe’s revised offer on agriculture ‘inadequate’

The EC Commission’s offer increas­es the cut in import duties in the high­er ranges, offers a small­er vari­able cut in import duties in the low­er ranges and reserves approx­i­mate­ly 180 tar­iff lines for ‘sen­si­tive’ prod­uct treat­ment (up to 8% of all agri­cul­tur­al tar­iff lines). The USA has called the offer ‘dis­ap­point­ing’; a nuanced reac­tion which […]

Testing le d’fi fran’ais on Agriculture

Accord­ing to press reports Mr Chirac told the EU Sum­mit meet­ing in Hamp­ton Court, Eng­land, that France would ‘veto’ a Doha round agree­ment on Agri­cul­ture that required cuts in sup­port or pro­tec­tion greater than those con­tained in the EU’s 2003 deci­sion on future Com­mon Agri­cul­ture Pol­i­cy (CAP) reforms. Could he do that? Well … the […]

High drama and low politics

There is a breath­less qual­i­ty to media reports on the maneu­vers of gov­ern­ments try­ing to meet the WTO’s self-imposed dead­line of 31 Octo­ber for signs of agree­ment on Agri­cul­ture at the Hong Kong Min­is­te­r­i­al Con­fer­ence in Decem­ber. The hot­house atmos­phere helps gov­ern­ments press beyond estab­lished posi­tions. But it would be naive to imag­ine that the […]

Timing is (almost) everything in WTO negotiations

A ‘sashay‘ is a fig­ure in square-danc­ing in which part­ners cir­cle each oth­er by tak­ing side­ways steps, accord­ing to the dic­tio­nary. It’s a basic move in trade nego­ti­a­tions, too. When an issue such as mar­ket access reach­es the point it has, today, where the next move becomes “I win, you loose”, the nego­ti­a­tions can sieze-up […]

France gives Mandelson the finger—-maybe

The French right wing government—especially the Elys’e-ambitious inte­ri­or Min­is­ter (Nicholas Sarkozy)—is try­ing hard to wound EC Trade Com­mis­sion­er Peter Man­del­son for con­ced­ing ‘too much’ in the WTO agri­cul­ture nego­ti­a­tions. But they don’t seem to have awak­ened the ardor of the com­men­tari­at. Le Monde, for exam­ple, seems less than impressed by the Chirac government’s “irre­ducible” act. […]

Russia won’t make it into WTO this year

An impor­tant les­son from the last round of WTO nego­ti­a­tions was that economies close to join­ing WTO should make every effort to get in before the nego­ti­a­tions are over. Rus­sia has giv­en up on join­ing at the Hong Kong min­is­te­r­i­al con­fer­ence in Decem­ber, but it has still at least six months after that to com­plete […]

Beginning of the end for rigged aviation markets?

Don’t bet on it. The ‘open skies’ agree­ment now being nego­ti­at­ed between the USA and the EU is not as big a break­through as the boost­ers say. ‘Open skies’ agree­ments don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly give for­eign air­lines access to domes­tic avi­a­tion mar­kets or to ‘cab­o­tage’ between domes­tic des­ti­na­tions in each oth­ers’ mar­kets. This is not, unfor­tu­nate­ly, a […]