Monthly Archives: November 2005

The Hong Kong Conference ‘re-framed’

Director General Pascal Lamy’s overview of the state of the negotiations is a masterly summary followed by an evidently acceptable proposal for changing the expectations of, and preparations for, the Hong Kong ministerial conference. He uses the term ‘re-calibrate’, but it’s really a mater of re-framing the purpose of the meeting to make it part […]

Where is the “wriggle-room”?

< p> It helps if you can think of the negotiations as theatre. Something ritual, improvised and far too long. But not necessarily the stuff of tragedy. At this point the actors are keyed-up and tiring; alternately anxious and bored by their own lines. They’re looking for ways to bring the drama to a conclusion; […]

Losses all around from US-China garment deal

The beneficiaries are saying that this agreement to place new quotas on China’s exports to the USA restores market predictability. But that’s hogwash. Almost everyoneexcept the US garment makers will loose from these restrictions, which make future trade deals less certain. It’s shortsighted, costly and likely to rebound on the USA US consumers, who leaped […]

Agriculture: reading the entrails

What determines the attitude that any government takes towards the negotiation of global agricultural market liberalization? You might as well ask: “what affects the pricing of equities in the stock market?”. At any given point in the talks, the fundamentals—inthis case changes in the competitiveness of agricultural production—may have less impact than sentiment; changes in […]

Must do list for agriculture negotiations

Next week will see the first serious attempt by WTO officials and cabinet-level negotiators to draft decisions by the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference. Agriculture remains a lynch-pin: as indicated by the reports that the Five Interested Parties (FIPS) will meet in London to try to bridge differences face-to-face that they have already spelled out over […]