Monthly Archives: October 2005

Europe’s revised offer on agriculture ‘inadequate’

The EC Commission’s offer increases the cut in import duties in the higher ranges, offers a smaller variable cut in import duties in the lower ranges and reserves approximately 180 tariff lines for ‘sensitive’ product treatment (up to 8% of all agricultural tariff lines). The USA has called the offer ‘disappointing’; a nuanced reaction which […]

Testing le d’fi fran’ais on Agriculture

According to press reports Mr Chirac told the EU Summit meeting in Hampton Court, England, that France would ‘veto’ a Doha round agreement on Agriculture that required cuts in support or protection greater than those contained in the EU’s 2003 decision on future Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reforms. Could he do that? Well … the […]

High drama and low politics

There is a breathless quality to media reports on the maneuvers of governments trying to meet the WTO’s self-imposed deadline of 31 October for signs of agreement on Agriculture at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in December. The hothouse atmosphere helps governments press beyond established positions. But it would be naive to imagine that the […]

Timing is (almost) everything in WTO negotiations

A ‘sashay‘ is a figure in square-dancing in which partners circle each other by taking sideways steps, according to the dictionary. It’s a basic move in trade negotiations, too. When an issue such as market access reaches the point it has, today, where the next move becomes “I win, you loose”, the negotiations can sieze-up […]

France gives Mandelson the finger—-maybe

The French right wing government—especially the Elys’e-ambitious interior Minister (Nicholas Sarkozy)—is trying hard to wound EC Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson for conceding ‘too much’ in the WTO agriculture negotiations. But they don’t seem to have awakened the ardor of the commentariat. Le Monde, for example, seems less than impressed by the Chirac government’s “irreducible” act. […]

Russia won’t make it into WTO this year

An important lesson from the last round of WTO negotiations was that economies close to joining WTO should make every effort to get in before the negotiations are over. Russia has given up on joining at the Hong Kong ministerial conference in December, but it has still at least six months after that to complete […]

Beginning of the end for rigged aviation markets?

Don’t bet on it. The ‘open skies’ agreement now being negotiated between the USA and the EU is not as big a breakthrough as the boosters say. ‘Open skies’ agreements don’t necessarily give foreign airlines access to domestic aviation markets or to ‘cabotage’ between domestic destinations in each others’ markets. This is not, unfortunately, a […]