Monthly Archives: February 2004

Free trade among developing countries?

Last week, as the “Economist”:http://www.economist.com/world/la/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2409653 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”:http://troppoarmadillo.ubersportingpundit.com/archives/004767.html 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”:http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,8633296%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”:http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=040206000975 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”:http://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/us.html 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”:http://www.cato.org/research/fiscal_policy/bush/factsfigs.html