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)”: 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 […]