Monthly Archives: November 2005

WTO: The First Ten Years”

My book, com­mis­sioned by WTO for their 10th anniver­sary, is now avail­able from Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press From the blurb “This book was com­mis­sioned by the World Trade Orga­ni­za­tion (WTO) as a fac­tu­al account of the first decade of its exis­tence. It aims to cov­er the prin­ci­pal activ­i­ties of the WTO as the suc­ces­sor to GATT […]

The Hong Kong beauty parade

I had a meet­ing yes­ter­day with a senior EC Com­mis­sion offi­cial

Crocodile tears on regional free trade

Can you believe it? Gov­ern­ment mem­bers of the world’s most unsuc­cess­ful region­al ‘free trade’ agreement—the Asia Pacif­ic Eco­nom­ic Coop­er­a­tion (that’s it … there’s no noun)—meeting in Busan, Korea, have crit­i­cized region­al agree­ments as a threat to trade! Yet every one of this group is nego­ti­at­ing, or try­ing to nego­ti­ate at least one and prob­a­bly a […]

Who wins from textile market liberalization?

Apart from con­sumers, that is. A graph­ic from this year’s Glob­al Eco­nom­ic Prospects report of the year-on-year growth of tex­tile exports in rela­tion to over­all mer­chan­dise export growth. Who got the biggest trade boost from the end of tex­tile and gar­ment import quo­tas? You might be sur­prised The biggest gains in terms of the boost […]

Workers’ remittances—-bigger than aid flows

Time to buy West­ern Union (NYSE: FDC). The World Bank’s Glob­al Eco­nom­ic Prospects for 2006 has just appeared (a 2.8mb pdf file, but ‘lighter’ ver­sions are avail­able here). It ana­lyzes the huge flows of worker’s remit­tances, show­ing that even the record­ed flows to devel­op­ing coun­tries are big­ger than the devel­op­ment assis­tance bud­gets of devel­oped coun­tries. […]

Survey of Doha’s costs and benefits

A long arti­cle by Alan Beat­tie, World Trade edi­tor of the Finan­cial Times, today assess­es the dis­ap­point­ing state of the Doha round WTO nego­ti­a­tions as Min­is­ters from 149 mem­ber coun­tries (wel­come, Sau­di Ara­bia) pre­pare for their con­fer­ence in Hong Kong. Beattie’s con­clu­sion is a guard­ed endorse­ment of the mul­ti­lat­er­al approach; risky and slow but less […]

Why is it so hard to get a global trade agreement?

Isn’t there an eas­i­er way to do this? Why is it so hard to get glob­al agree­ment? It shouldn’t be this hard, should it? Can an agree­ment pos­si­bly be worth all this agony? Why doesn’t WTO look at short­er, sim­pler nego­ti­a­tions on just the key ques­tions? Who wants to spend a whole decade in a […]