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 […]

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”:http://www.southcentre.org/southcommission/scommindex.htm—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”:http://www.institutional-economics.com/ 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 […]