Monthly Archives: September 2005

Does Koizumi have a broad reform agenda?

One of the prob­lems for those who, like me, hoped that Koizumi’s vic­tory in the recent elec­tions would give him a man­date for more coura­geous eco­nomic reform, is that there is really no sign of such inten­tions from the man him­self. He promised noth­ing except a ‘ref­er­en­dum’ on his postal reform—which is what he got, […]

Review of “Global Trade Advocate” in FT

Alan Beat­tie, the World Trade Edi­tor for the Finan­cial Times has reviewed Global Trade Advo­cate. Here’s a link to the non-subscription page ver­sion of the review (also over the fold). To make it eas­ier for you to see what Alan is talk­ing about when he men­tions the ‘huge rewards’ from trade advo­cacy described in GTA, […]

A survey of business consultations on trade

Would you like to help me test a sur­vey of busi­nesses or NGOs that con­sult with gov­ern­ments on trade issues? I’ve been asked to cre­ate a sur­vey for an Asian region group to help build a bet­ter ‘base­line’ dataset on the breadth, fre­quency and con­tent of business-government and NGO–gov­ern­ment exchanges on national par­tic­i­pa­tion in the […]

Bean-counting and bad faith

The treacle-like pace of the WTO nego­ti­a­tions prompts many aca­d­e­mic com­men­ta­tors to rush the OpEd pages with claims of sys­temic faults or ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis. It’s unde­ni­able that the WTO, like the UN, faces a bean counter’s night­mare: a mem­ber­ship whose size defeats easy decision-making, a vast range of rules, and nego­ti­a­tions that have almost frac­tal complexity. […]

Agriculture in an Australia-Japan FTA

I was invited to speak, last week, to the 43rd joint coun­cil meet­ing of the Australia-Japan Busi­ness Coun­cils on the vexed topic of the inclu­sion of agri­cul­tural trade in any future Australia-Japan free trade agree­ment You’ll find a copy of the out­line of my talk here and an on-line ver­sion of my slides in the […]

Borders matter

One of the cen­tral con­tentions of my book Global Trade Advo­cate is that bor­ders have grown in impor­tance as a con­se­quence of the eco­nomic processes accom­pa­ny­ing the appar­ently border-erasing process of glob­al­iza­tion. Here’s con­fir­ma­tion from the CIA Some­thing there is that loves a wall, per­haps. But the rea­sons are not always that admirable. “Stretch­ing over […]

EC-China textile ‘circus’

Two highly expe­ri­enced ana­lysts nail the prob­lem with the pos­si­ble EC-China agree­ment on the ‘tem­po­rary’ quo­tas imposed by the Euro­pean Com­mu­ni­ties on com­pet­i­tive gar­ment imports. The non­sense about ‘tem­po­rary’ quo­tas and indus­try adjust­ment that never takes place has been going on for forty years. Joe Fran­cois and Dean Spinanger point out that we should all be […]