Monthly Archives: July 2011

Competition policy in PTAs

Here’s a surprise…or is it? Accord­ing to the WTO’s 2011 annual report, the most com­mon WTO-extension (WTO-X) pro­vi­sion of pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ments (PTAs) is in a domain that the WTO dropped from its nego­ti­at­ing agenda in 2003: com­pe­ti­tion pol­icy. Research for the WTO’s 2011 Annual Report shows that 90 of the 96 PTAs exam­ined have […]

WTO embraces the irresistible

WTO’s annual World Trade Report for 2011 sig­nals a turning-point for the soon-to-be-Doha-less Orga­ni­za­tion. It attempts to pro­vide a ratio­nale for aban­don­ing WTO’s half-hostile stand-off with the more dynamic uni­verse of pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ments (PTAs) and for embrac­ing PTAs instead. Or, as the sub­ti­tle of the report puts it, in EU-ese, a ratio­nale for moving […]

Smoking and climate change

Mal­colm Turn­bull, in a recent speech invented a para­ble about a fool­hardy smoker to illus­trate his claim that con­test­ing the views of the “best sci­en­tists” on man-made climate-change is an “attack on sci­ence”. But does this para­ble make sense? Should we con­sider the the claimed “con­sen­sus” of science-policy bod­ies on dan­ger­ous global warm­ing to be […]

Treasury’s advocacy of a CO2 tax

One thing on which I agree with Julia Gillard is the poor qual­ity of many jour­nal­ists’ analy­sis of her pro­pos­als. But when you cram jour­nal­ists with non­sense, you must expect some of them to regur­gi­tate it from time to time. “In the­ory, this is an inge­nious model for adapt­ing our fos­sil fuel econ­omy to global climate […]

Black calls the kettle Rupert

It is dif­fi­cult to think of any­one less likely to offer an objec­tive assess­ment. Con­rad Black on why Rupert Mur­doch is a “great bad man”. “Although his per­son­al­ity is gen­er­ally quite agree­able, Mr Mur­doch has no loy­alty to any­one or any­thing except his com­pany. He has dif­fi­culty keep­ing friend­ships; rarely keeps his word for long; is […]

Why shoot elephants?

It’s the most effec­tive way to kill them. Any game-keeper will tell you that. Just as any econ­o­mist will tell you that the most effec­tive way to con­trol obnox­ious behav­iour, like pol­lut­ing the river, or just unde­sir­able behav­iour, like dri­ving your car into the city, is to tax it. Are there alter­na­tives to shoot­ing? Yes, it […]

De Lacy on the Carbon Tax

Keith De Lacy, chair­man of takeover tar­get Macarthur Coal, said yes­ter­day the absence of a viable alter­na­tive to coal to fuel Asia’s eco­nomic growth would main­tain high prices world­wide and pro­tect min­ers against the lat­est “attack” by the Labor gov­ern­ment on the indus­try.” Extract from The Aus­tralian Read the rest of the inter­view. De Lacy, […]