Monthly Archives: March 2004

Direct’ and ‘indirect’ taxes on trade

The lengthy dis­pute[⇒ relat­ed sto­ry] between the USA and EU over the Unit­ed States’ FSC income-tax con­ces­sions to US exporters has its roots in an his­tor­i­cal error, accord­ing to one of the authors of the FSC leg­is­la­tion: Gar­ry Huf­bauer. He rec­om­mends that the error be cor­rect­ed, but his pro­pos­als seem to require either a sig­nif­i­cant […]

TRIPS and Drugs: nothing happening

More than 6 months down the road, no coun­try has tak­en advan­tage of the hard-fought Deci­sion of the WTO Gen­er­al Coun­cil, accord­ing to this AFP sto­ry. bq. Poor coun­tries that fought to be able to import gener­ic pre­scrip­tion drugs have failed to use changes to the WTO rules on intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights (AFP via “Yahoo”: […]

IBSA ‘framework’ agreement

This is a diver­sion: bq. For­eign min­is­ters of the three coun­tries, home to 1.2bn peo­ple, yes­ter­day signed a “frame­work agree­ment” to boost trade, aimed at coun­ter­ing indus­tri­alised nations’ dom­i­na­tion of the world trad­ing sys­tem. (“FT”: Accord­ing to the Finan­cial Times, the ‘frame­work’ con­tains no actu­al trade oblig­a­tions such as cuts in bar­ri­ers to each oth­ers’ […]

Public and private interest

John Quig­gin “pro­pos­es a test(link to Ideas and Inter­ests on JQs site)”: for dis­tin­guish­ing whether a pub­­lic-inter­est or pri­­vate-inter­est the­o­ry of gov­ern­ment is more plau­si­ble. bq. If ideas about the desir­abil­i­ty of pol­i­cy are adjust­ed in response toev­i­dence (cf Keynes — when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?) then the […]

Demography and destiny

Pop­u­la­tion trends in the Asian and Eurasian con­ti­nents are sum­ma­rized in this “fas­ci­nat­ing essay(link to Pol­i­cy Review article)”: by Nicholas Eber­stadt of the Amer­i­can Entr­erprise Insti­tute. # The 20th cen­tu­ry pop­u­la­tion explo­sion is all but over in East Asia—including China—and is fad­ing quick­ly in South East and even South Asia. # Dra­mat­ic shifts are tak­ing […]

The cost of the ‘Byrd amendment’

In Febru­rary last year, the EU, Japan, Brazil, Aus­tralia and a dozen oth­er coun­tries won a WTO dis­pute with the USA over the amendment—named after the red­outable Sen. Byrd of West Vir­ginia, the Sen­a­tor for the US steel industry—to the US Anti-Dump­ing and Coun­ter­vail­ing laws. “Here’s(linkto the Eng­lish lan­guage version)”:–18.doc the report of the WTO […]

Chimeric sovereignty

The appeal to “sov­er­eign­ty”, in inter­na­tion­al debates, like the appeal to “patri­o­tism” in domes­tic pol­i­tics, is the “last refuge of scoundrels”: bq. The world’s 20 poor­est coun­tries are just about as poor today as they were 40 years ago. That can be changed only if they start to func­tion quite dif­fer­ent­ly from before, which will […]