Monthly Archives: February 2004

Downsizing and outsourcing

Tyler Cowan has an inter­est­ing sum­mary of a recent book on the loss of man­u­fac­tur­ing labour in the USA bq. The notion of “regres­sion toward a mean” describes the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor bet­ter than the uni­ver­sal down­siz­ing hypoth­e­sis (Bau­mol, Blinder & Wolff via “Mar­ginal Revolution”: Does this idea apply to ser­vices ‘out­sourc­ing’[⇒ related story] as well?

Phased EU retaliation on FSC

Reuters “reports”: that the EU will, after all, start phased retal­i­ta­tion for the FSC from 1 March. bq. Euro­pean Union Trade Com­mis­sioner Pas­cal Lamy says the EU will slap a 5 per­cent duty on more than $4 bil­lion worth of U.S. exports begin­ning on Mon­day because of Con­gress’ fail­ure to repeal tax breaks declared illegal […]

This is encouraging?

There’s been quite a bit of ‘whistling in the dark’ recently about the Doha Round nego­ti­a­tions on agri­cul­ture. Hints and sug­ges­tions of alleged progress prompted by the peri­pate­sis of the “US Trade Representative(report of Zoel­lick and Lamy in Mombassa)”:, the “Cairns Group(link to ABC report on recent meeting)”:, some mem­bers of the “EU Commission(Reuters report […]

Kindergarten trade theory

The rhetoric of the out­sourc­ing debate in the USA has never seemed sil­lier than in this piece from a senior edi­tor of the “Atlantic Monthly(link to the Atlantic on-line)”:–25.htm bq. But the pic­ture con­jured up [of] for­eign com­pa­nies dump­ing good­son Amer­ica leaves some­thing new out: U.S. firms relo­cat­ing to low-wage coun­tries, pro­duc­ing goods or rendering […]

Good news on Quarantine

The Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment has “released(link to DAFF site)”: draft final import risk assesse­ments (IRAs) on imports of bananas from the Philip­pines, pork from the USA and apples from New Zealand. The IRAs rec­om­mend that the cur­rent import bans on these inof­fen­sive prod­ucts should be lifted (con­di­tion­ally) because there is no sci­en­tific jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for main­tain­ing the […]

EU backs away from retaliation on FSC

The real processes of WTO dis­pute set­tle­ment don’t fol­low the simple-minded, trade-war scripts of the news head­lines. The EU’s offer to cool the level of its threats over the dis­pute on income-tax sub­si­dies to US cor­po­ra­tions is a more accu­rate reflec­tion of how the sys­tem works. Last year, the WTO Dis­pute Set­tle­ment body “authorized(link to […]

Australia’s future trade policies

This is the text of a piece I con­tributed to the Aus­tralian Finan­cial Review ear­lier this week. bq. There are obvi­ous com­mer­cial advan­tages for Aus­tralia in being only the sec­ond devel­oped coun­try to reach a free-trade agree­ment with the USA. We may also be the first to reach a free-trade agree­men­twith China if cur­rent talks […]