Monthly Archives: June 2004

Cutting agricultural tariffs

Next week, the diplo­mats return to Geneva to try once more to come up with a ‘frame­work’ for cut­ting the high tar­iff bar­ri­ers sur­round­ing mar­kets for agri­cul­tural prod­ucts. Here’s what I’d like them to do: Set a level of ambi­tion There’s no point in work­ing around the dif­fer­ence between coun­tries using _words_ if the basic problem […]

EU to deny ‘market economy status’ to China

The EC Com­mis­sion has decided, accord­ing to the Finan­cial Times, that China may meet the least sig­nif­i­cant of its five tests of a ‘mar­ket econ­omy’: the absence of state inter­fer­ence with entre­prises linked to pri­va­ti­za­tion and the absence of barter trade poli­cies. But … bq. The ver­dict is much­tougher on the four key hur­dles: the […]

India’s promise

Jonathan Power inter­views India’s newly appointed PM—and ex-Secretary Gen­eral of the “South Commission”:—Manmohan Singh about man­ag­ing expec­ta­tions, oppor­tu­ni­ties and lead­er­ship in the world’s largest democ­racy bq.  India has a lot going for it that China does not. Apart from its thriv­ing democ­racy and free press, it has world-class com­pa­nies, espe­cially in infor­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, biotech­nol­ogy and […]

Labor splitting over US FTA

Stephen Kirch­ner “observes”: that Labor has ended the cur­rent ses­sion of Par­lia­ment in dis­ar­ray over it’s ambiva­lent posi­tion on the free trade agree­ment with the USA and it’s poorly thought-out han­dling of US alliance issues in gen­eral. I dif­fer with Stephen,however, on the most remark­able aspect of last week’s vote in the House of Representatives. […]

Flexibility’ in the agriculture negotiations

Diplo­mats in Geneva are attempt­ing to come up with a com­mon posi­tion on the most difficult—but most important—issue in reform of agri­cul­tural trade poli­cies: improv­ing access to highly pro­tected agri­cul­tural mar­kets. Unfor­tu­nately, they are con­coct­ing a ter­ri­ble mess of ‘optional’ and’banded’ tar­iff cuts that is so filled with incom­pre­hen­si­ble options that it is mov­ing away […]

ASEAN-China FTA negotiations stall

The two sides were due to agree on sched­ules for the lib­er­al­iza­tion of mer­chan­dise trade by the end of the month. bq. Ong, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Asso­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the absence of a com­mon posi­tion by South­east Asian coun­tries on which prod­ucts should be included in a bas­ket of […]

Proposed EU sugar reforms

The details of the pro­posed plan, leaked to the FT, will undoubt­edly be fol­lowed by alarms and wail­ing from the EU sugar pro­duc­ers and, under­stand­ably, from the ACP(African, Car­ribbean and Pacific) coun­tries that have for years extracted rents from their pref­er­en­tial access to the high-priced EUsugar mar­ket. bq. Accord­ing to doc­u­ments seen by the Financial […]