Category Archives: Trade

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… […]

Manufacturing dissent

United States man­u­fac­tur­ers, like their Aus­tralian coun­ter­parts, are indulging some hyper­bolic alarm about their future, but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. U.S. eco­nomic growth seems too anaemic to sup­port demand in the sec­tor; Australia’s eco­nomic growth seem to be bypass­ing it. Still, this self-interested plea in the NYT from a direc­tor of GE for pub­lic sub­si­dies (“innovation […]

The canker in quarantine policies

No, it’s not the bit­ter reac­tion from the apple and pear lobby to the end of our century-long ban on apple imports from NZ. What else could we expect: thanks to the price (and qual­ity) pro­tec­tion afford by the ban, uncom­pet­i­tive pro­duc­ers in those indus­tries have been ripping-off the con­sumer so long we could hardly […]

Eminent call-girls

Aaargh! Yet another knee-jerk call in the Finan­cial Times for “wise” men (and women) to guide WTO out of it’s slough. Third, in lieu of the WTO min­is­te­r­ial, a group of emi­nent peo­ple should be appointed with the task find­ing a way out of the cur­rent dol­drums and out­lin­ing future courses of action. The head […]