Monthly Archives: January 2005

Howard confuses trade/aid issues

After offering us the hardly novel idea that trade plays a more significant role than assistance funding in development and growth, Howard stumbles into a caution about the impact of corruption on the willingness of electorates in rich countries to sustain aid flows. Despite assuring us of the difference between trade and aid in his […]

Distribution of trademark ownership

This chart from a recent “World Bank staff paper”: shows the (natural log of) the number of foreign trade mark registrations by country plotted against GDP. Surprise!, there’s a clear linear relationship: TradeMarkRegistrations.gif

The next Director General of WTO

These are unhappy times for the World Trade Organization. Just ten-years after its creation it is struggling to maintain the confidence of it’s members while besieged by violent “anti-globalization” protests and constipated by its own decision-processes. The opportunity to select a new Director General in the next few months looks like a chance to attack […]

China gives preferences to Africa

This is a smart move. Chinese imports from Africa are mainly raw materials on which the duties are not very significant, although it has a small trade deficit with the continent as a whole. The Ministry of Commerce said China has offered tariff exemptions for certain commodities from 25 developing African countries. (China Daily)

Japan seeks soft trade deals

Officials in Tokyo admit, according to the Financial Times, that the proposed deals with Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines will fall short of WTO’s ‘free trade’ standards for the authorization of discriminatory agreements. Japan is seeking to redress the impression of China’s dominance of trade relations in the region without, it seems, offering to actually reduce […]

Garment industries struggling in South Asia

Garment industries in South and parts of East Asia are facing similar problems to those of “Lesotho”: Although, for many, the expiry of current orders is still six weeks or so away (mid March), production is already being shut down. For example, there are news service reports that more than 20 textile factories have already […]

Sutherland report on the Future of WTO

WTO has published a report commissioned for its tenth anniversary from a group of ‘wise men’—chaired by former Director-General Peter Sutherland and including some of the usual suspects—on how to make the Organization more credible and more functional. The 37 recommendations include some floggings for hobby horses (‘free trade agreements’); dubious faith in the ability […]