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 […]