Monthly Archives: December 2007

Activities in 2007

Access the Inquit database of SPS measures

A map (click for a better view), at no particular scale, of some of my activities in 2007. A lot of traveling, some outstanding meals—grilled Croker fish and wild greens in Abuja, barbecue mutton with sweetbreads in Karachi—some fascinating characters, and good friends. There were a couple of marathons (the SPS database; trade & tariff simulations on 51 grains markets) and at least one job that was just fun: classroom exercises for the Teachers’ kits on WTO.

Warwick Commission report on ‘The Way Forward’ for WTO



[Updated post] The University of Warwick mandated the Commission to enquire into the ‘way forward’ for the multilateral trading system. They recommend, among other things, an expansion of ‘plurilateral’ agreements among a sub-set of the Members of WTO as a way of ‘moving forward’ and some principles for guiding their adoption. I agree; there is a good case to be made for these agreements that needs further development.

Innovation in trade agreements

In a speech yesterday in Singapore, Australia’s new Trade Minister (Simon Crean) pledged that future Australian bilateral agreements will ‘embody’ MFN commitments.

“As I said earlier, we do see a role for bilateral trade agreements but they must be consistent with our multilateral aims.
For example they ought to embody the most favoured nation principle.”(Simon Crean)

Stern is mistaken to think binding targets will work

BaliUNFCCC.gifSir Nicholas Stern argues, ahead of the Bali meeting of the UNFCCC, for binding, differentiated emission targets and international trading.  I think his own address betrays the fundamental problem with this approach to a collaborative regime for climate change mitigation.