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 […]