Monthly Archives: July 2011

Competition policy in PTAs

Here’s a surprise…or is it? Accord­ing to the WTO’s 2011 annu­al report, the most com­mon WTO-exten­­sion (WTO-X) pro­vi­sion of pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ments (PTAs) is in a domain that the WTO dropped from its nego­ti­at­ing agen­da in 2003: com­pe­ti­tion pol­i­cy. Research for the WTO’s 2011 Annu­al Report shows that 90 of the 96 PTAs exam­ined have […]

WTO embraces the irresistible

WTO’s annu­al World Trade Report for 2011 sig­nals a turn­ing-point for the soon-to-be-Doha-less Orga­ni­za­tion. It attempts to pro­vide a ratio­nale for aban­don­ing WTO’s half-hos­tile stand-off with the more dynam­ic uni­verse of pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ments (PTAs) and for embrac­ing PTAs instead. Or, as the sub­ti­tle of the report puts it, in EU-ese, a ratio­nale for mov­ing […]

Smoking and climate change

Mal­colm Turn­bull, in a recent speech invent­ed a para­ble about a fool­hardy smok­er to illus­trate his claim that con­test­ing the views of the “best sci­en­tists” on man-made cli­­mate-change is an “attack on sci­ence”. But does this para­ble make sense? Should we con­sid­er the the claimed “con­sen­sus” of sci­ence-pol­i­­cy bod­ies on dan­ger­ous glob­al warm­ing to be […]

Treasury’s advocacy of a CO2 tax

One thing on which I agree with Julia Gillard is the poor qual­i­ty of many jour­nal­ists’ analy­sis of her pro­pos­als. But when you cram jour­nal­ists with non­sense, you must expect some of them to regur­gi­tate it from time to time. “In the­o­ry, this is an inge­nious mod­el for adapt­ing our fos­sil fuel econ­o­my to glob­al […]

Black calls the kettle Rupert

It is dif­fi­cult to think of any­one less like­ly to offer an objec­tive assess­ment. Con­rad Black on why Rupert Mur­doch is a “great bad man”. “Although his per­son­al­i­ty is gen­er­al­ly quite agree­able, Mr Mur­doch has no loy­al­ty to any­one or any­thing except his com­pa­ny. He has dif­fi­cul­ty keep­ing friend­ships; rarely keeps his word for long; […]

Why shoot elephants?

It’s the most effec­tive way to kill them. Any game-keep­­er will tell you that. Just as any econ­o­mist will tell you that the most effec­tive way to con­trol obnox­ious behav­iour, like pol­lut­ing the riv­er, or just unde­sir­able behav­iour, like dri­ving your car into the city, is to tax it. Are there alter­na­tives to shoot­ing? Yes, […]

De Lacy on the Carbon Tax

Kei­th De Lacy, chair­man of takeover tar­get Macarthur Coal, said yes­ter­day the absence of a viable alter­na­tive to coal to fuel Asia’s eco­nom­ic growth would main­tain high prices world­wide and pro­tect min­ers against the lat­est “attack” by the Labor gov­ern­ment on the indus­try.” Extract from The Aus­tralian Read the rest of the inter­view. De Lacy, […]