Monthly Archives: February 2004

Free trade among developing countries?

Last week, as the “Economist”: reports, the Brazil­ian Pres­i­dent signed a pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ment between the Mer­co­sur coun­tries (Brazil, Argenti­na, Uruguay, Paraguay) and India. da Sil­va described it as the first step toward a full free-trade agree­ment among the G-20 devel­op­ing coun­tries led by the IBSA coali­tion[⇒ relat­ed sto­ry]. bq. “India and Brazil can togeth­er […]

Why I no longer consider economic isolation a threat

Ken Parish “points”: to the ‘eco­nom­ic iso­la­tion’ argu­ment for FTA’s bq. Final­ly, nei­ther [John Quig­gan] nor Peter Gal­lagher men­tion the most fun­da­men­tal dri­ver of bilat­er­al trade deals and the broad­er ques­tion of increased eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion between the US and Aus­tralia. With the appar­ent break­down in Can­cun last year of the DOHA Round of nego­ti­a­tions … […]

Everything old (in exchange protection) is new again

Mar­tin Wolf tells the EU mem­bers of the G7 who are cry­ing ‘foul’ over Asian exchange rate pro­tec­tion to suck it up. bq. Asian coun­tries have cho­sen “the same periph­ery strat­e­gy as imme­di­ate post­war Europe and Japan, under­valu­ing the exchange rate, man­ag­ing size­able for­eign exchange inter­ven­tions, impos­ing con­trols [on cap­i­tal], accu­mu­lat­ing reserves, and encour­ag­ing export-led […]

The FTA and a fall in exports

Ross Gar­naut, long a foe of the FTA nego­ti­a­tions, makes the extra­or­di­nary claim in today’s “Aus­tralian newspaper”:,5744,8633296%5E7583,00.html that the focus of trade offi­cials on the FTA over the past year of nego­ti­a­tions has been a dere­lic­tion of duty bq. Offi­cial Aus­tralia has not yet faced up to the sever­i­ty of the present trade prob­lem. Exports […]

Sexing-up” victim

Mr Blair’s “admission”: that even he was fooled by the ‘sex­ing-up’ of the UK government’s case for war, bad­ly stains the white­wash[⇒ relat­ed sto­ry] that Lord Hut­ton poured over the UK government’s pre­sen­ta­tion of the case for war. The Prime Min­is­ter, too, assumed that the “45-minute” claim about Iraqi WMD readi­ness referred to strate­gic weapons […]

A “claytons” free trade deal

The adver­tis­ing for Dr Clay­tons Nerve-Eze formula—a cola-based ‘tonic’—described it as the “drink you have when you’re not hav­ing a drink”. It’s become a prover­bial expres­sion in Aus­tralia. “This agreement”: appears to be the ‘Free Trade Agree­ment you have when you’re not hav­ing free trade’. bq. Mr Zoel­lick said the deal would offer “the most […]

Growth in non-defense spending

Inter­est­ing com­par­i­son (redrawn) from the “Cato Institute”: