Monthly Archives: January 2004

Dead-end trade policy

Here’s a statement from the Japanese foreign ministry about the stalled negotiations of a free trade agreement with Mexico: bq. “Agriculture is the sticking point. If the two sides can agree on this, then it’s relatively easy for both Japan and Mexico to reach a substantial final agreement,” saida spokesman for Japan’s foreign ministry. (“Financial […]


For the past few days I’ve been re-locating. Nothing but the usual losses, frustrations, indignities and expenses to report. I’m sure you’ve enough of your own.


Major Michael Mori’s “forthright criticism(link to BBC News site)”: of the US Military Commission that is trying his client—the Australian Guantanamo prisoner, David Hicks—highlights a failure of the Australian government to protect its own citizens. The government’s refusal to demand the release of an Australian who has committed no crime under Australian law and its […]

Stealing language

A judge in California recently reminded Playboy Inc. that the owners of trademarks can’t ‘remove a word from the English language’ simply because the word may form part of a trademark. In this case, the claim was that the use of Google adwords ‘playboy’ and ‘playmate’ by individuals other than the plaintiff diluted the benefits […]

Shoring up China’s banks

The Chinese government revealed this week that it had completed the first phase of a second re-capitalization of its four biggest state banks in an attempt to prop them up against their exposure to about billion of non-performing loans. The banks badly need the capital injections—which are in the form of loans drawn on China’s […]

What does free trade offer the Americas?

It doesn’t help to exaggerate the case, even for a good cause. bq. “On Tuesday morning [President Bush] said, “Trade is the most certain path to lasting prosperity.” On Monday night he said, “The best way to eradicate poverty is to encourage trade between nations.” Many leaders of the nations at this conference disagree…” (“NY […]

China’s new constitutional protections

Minxin Pei of the Carnegie Endowment “argues(link to Financial Times)”: for institutional changes to back up the recent moves[⇒ related story] to protect private property. bq. …the Chinese government needs further to liberalise the economy and make the judicial process more independent and effective. Such institutional changes are indispensable in making the provision about protection […]