Monthly Archives: December 2003

Cops clean-up in Bangladesh

I’m in Chittagong, Bangladesh’s major port and commercial center, for a couple of days to talk about world trade events with with the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce. From the world’s inkiest, low cost broadsheet, “The Daily Life” (6 pages for only Taka 4.00—no website) bq. Police arrested 1,580 people, including seven identified terrorists and siezed […]

Limp in October, too late in December

The “World Bank(link to World Bank site)”:,,date:12-08-2003~menuPK:34461~pagePK:34392~piPK:34427~theSitePK:4607,00.html#Story4 provides a round-up of press opinion on the resumed WTO negotiations next week: bq. Attempts to get countries back to the negotiating table to relaunch WTO trade talks by a December 15 deadline are in trouble, and diplomats doubt much progress will be made until next year at […]

US steel safeguards gone: WTO survives!

Time for John Quiggan to retract his silly prediction[⇒ related story] that the WTO ruling against the Bush safeguard measures would be the ‘end of the line’ for the global treaty. This is another victory for the multilateral system in the management of trade disputes. But, of course, it’s not the end of US steel […]

Public funding of junk ‘culture’

Frank Devine, who somehow survived a term on the Australia Council fund, “projects(link to Op-Ed piece in The Australian newspaper)”:,5744,8066200%5E7583,00.html a dismal future for the publicly funded movie ‘industry’ in Australia. bq. Project forward 15 years: that’s nearly $2 billion gone on making 90 new movies nobody will go to, since quality never improves in […]

WTO and the ‘multipolar’ vision

Shada Islam writes in “Yale Global(link to the website)”: about the collapse of WTO negotiations as a challenge to Europe’s view of the world and of itself. bq. The WTO is a multipolar organisation par excellence and is shaping up as a real testing ground for European ideals. Its members, big and small, are equally […]

Surprising popular support for an FTAA

“Trade raises incomes”: no news. But “… most people seem to realize that”: big surprise! The “Pew Research Center(link to Pew results on their site)”: says that in 2002 we could have bet on a majority of ‘pro-free-trade’ opinion among both developed and developing country voters. bq. Overwhelming majorities in all 10 countries told Pew […]