Category Archives: Trade

Supply management has no place in the TPP

It would be mad­ness for Aus­tralia to agree to admit Canada to the TPP “free trade” nego­ti­a­tions on the basis that they might keep their astro­nom­i­cally high bar­ri­ers to some food imports. The Cana­dian Trade Min­is­ter, Ed Fast, told reporters this week that he believes Canada has “pub­lic sup­port” from six of the nine countries […]

Governed by the gutless?

Alan Beattie’s new book­let “Who’s in Charge Here” (Ama­zon) is an amus­ing, accu­rate, acces­si­ble account of the cur­rent mess in global finan­cial and trade “gov­er­nance.” Well worth the $3 price. But he draws a “les­son” from his lit­tle his­tory of the crises of 2008–2011 that I find un-satisfying. Who’s in Charge Here is a valuable […]

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, […]

A bearish view of global governance

If there were a rat­ings agency for the cred­i­bil­ity of “global gov­er­nance” insti­tu­tions, the WTO’s would have been down­graded to a “B” at best[1] after the col­lapse of the Doha Round nego­ti­a­tions. The triple crown of benign global gov­er­nance — a pros­per­ous, well-regulated global “com­mons,” the sov­er­eignty of nation-states and the assent of the governed […]

A miracle on Lake Léman?

Geoff Kit­ney in today’s AFR wants you to believe Mark Emer­son has “res­cued the Doha round of trade nego­ti­a­tions from col­lapse” by con­vinc­ing all other Mem­bers to adopt his/Julia’s plan to “keep the talks alive”. Con­trast that breath­less dis­patch with this from Reuters: “WTO Meet­ing Ends with No Move For­ward on Doha”. Or how about this […]

Irresitsible engines

Glen Steven’s ques­tions, in his inau­gural War­ren Hogan lec­ture, about the expec­ta­tion of emerg­ing Asia — that they will assume a promi­nent role shap­ing and direct­ing the global finan­cial sys­tem — and about the readi­ness of the West to cede that role to them have been tested in the WTO. So far, they remain unan­swered there… […]