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”:—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 […]