Category Archives: Trade

Free trade (not agreements) will make Britain great

To judge from most of the “progressive” press and my Twitter feed, there is a great deal of ruin in Brexit. I hear that Britain is so integrated into the EU it will be rootless outside. The UK, I’m told, will need to ‘rejoin’ the WTO after Brexit. It has no trade agreements other than […]

Trade blocs world

We will soon see the creation of the first global-scale trade-blocs: exclusive international trade zones. What will it be like? The short answer (if you want to stop reading here) is: the direct economic impact will be rather modest but the blocs will be a disaster for rules-based WTO trading system. That could have much […]

The Wallenbergs at the ICC

Peter Wallenberg, the scion of the great Swedish family of bankers and industrialists, died on 19 January aged 88. Among his many achievements was to lead the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) during the most difficult period for business in the late 20th Century. Here is a summary of the story. There’s a little more […]

Can multilateralism be revived?

Shawn Donnan at the FT says that it needs a healthier life-style. Multilateralism is weaker than it has ever been. But, in trade, it has never been as robust as it seemed on the surface. For now, I doubt there is a reasonable prospect it can be revived in its original form. Instead, we should […]

Is a plurilateral the ‘way out’ for WTO on agriculture?

Q: under what circumstances would a critical-mass (CM) plurilateral agreement on agriculture be a way “out of the mess” in the WTO agriculture negotiations? A: any CM plurilateral works as a “way out” of the WTO stalemate where it offers a degree of benefits to the members of the plurilateral agreement such that they were […]

Evaluation of a “Critical Mass” agreement on agriculture

The stalemate in Geneva on the December 2013 Bali Agreement concerning both Trade Faciliation and agriculture subsidies has revived some interest in the potential for a plurilateral agreement on Agriculture among WTO members. I attach to this brief post a pre-print of the summary that Andy Stoler and I wrote for the journal Global Governance […]

The multilateral trade mess — 5 years later

In August 2008, shortly after the collapse of the WTO Doha Round’s agricultural negotiations in Geneva — which I recognized, then, as the ‘death-rattle’ of the Round — I wrote the attached paper; part of a project sponsored by the Rural Industry Research & Development Corporation to find a better way to negotiate in WTO. […]