Monthly Archives: November 2005

“WTO: The First Ten Years”

My book, commissioned by WTO for their 10th anniversary, is now available from Cambridge University Press From the blurb “This book was commissioned by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a factual account of the first decade of its existence. It aims to cover the principal activities of the WTO as the successor to GATT […]

The Hong Kong beauty parade

< p> I had a meeting yesterday with a senior EC Commission official

Crocodile tears on regional free trade

Can you believe it? Government members of the world’s most unsuccessful regional ‘free trade’ agreement—the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (that’s it … there’s no noun)—meeting in Busan, Korea, have criticized regional agreements as a threat to trade! Yet every one of this group is negotiating, or trying to negotiate at least one and probably a […]

Who wins from textile market liberalization?

Apart from consumers, that is. A graphic from this year’s Global Economic Prospects report of the year-on-year growth of textile exports in relation to overall merchandise export growth. Who got the biggest trade boost from the end of textile and garment import quotas? You might be surprised The biggest gains in terms of the boost […]

Workers’ remittances—-bigger than aid flows

Time to buy Western Union (NYSE: FDC). The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects for 2006 has just appeared (a 2.8mb pdf file, but ‘lighter’ versions are available here). It analyzes the huge flows of worker’s remittances, showing that even the recorded flows to developing countries are bigger than the development assistance budgets of developed countries. […]

Survey of Doha’s costs and benefits

A long article by Alan Beattie, World Trade editor of the Financial Times, today assesses the disappointing state of the Doha round WTO negotiations as Ministers from 149 member countries (welcome, Saudi Arabia) prepare for their conference in Hong Kong. Beattie’s conclusion is a guarded endorsement of the multilateral approach; risky and slow but less […]

Why is it so hard to get a global trade agreement?

< p> Isn’t there an easier way to do this? Why is it so hard to get global agreement? It shouldn’t be this hard, should it? Can an agreement possibly be worth all this agony? Why doesn’t WTO look at shorter, simpler negotiations on just the key questions? Who wants to spend a whole decade […]