Monthly Archives: February 2012

Nothing to see here

Is there any point in continuing to puzzle over trade policy and agreements? Do they really make any difference to anything? It seems they’ve become too hard to put together; but does that matter? Since about 2001, I’ve been writing a weblog analysing international trade agreements, national trade policies and the post-WWII “system” of government […]

“Critical Mass” on US business agenda

The US National Foreign Trade Council has released a short paper (PDF file) endorsing a “critical mass” (CM) approach to new WTO-associated trade agreements, without, however, producing any new ideas on how to accomplish this in the current multilateral trade framework. A top U.S. business group, frustrated with years of stalemate in world trade talks, […]

Evidence-free policy on cars

His Telstra term has apparently left Ziggy Switkowski with a taste for Gaullist illogic. He reckons that the absence of a rationale — other than rent-seeking — is not fatal to a policy that supports a “diverse” industrial patrimoine. It is very hard to make a conventional business case for subsidisation of (or, more fashionably, […]

No spring for shiite Syria

Robert Fisk’s unsentimental analysis of Assad’s strengths As long as Syria can trade with Iraq, it can trade with Iran and, of course, it can trade with Lebanon. The Shia of Iran and the Shia majority in Iraq and the Shia leadership (though not majority) in Syria and the Shia (the largest community, but not […]