Category Archives: Trade

They never talk about trade

The trade and investment policies of the two main political parties in Australia have flip-flopped in chorus over the years so they hardly ever figure in election debates. As if they didn’t matter enough to fight about. Yet there’s little that matters more to the future prosperity of a small, open, still-somewhat-remote economy than building […]

Statistics for (non-mathematical) trade analysts

I teach a ‘summer intensive’ graduate course in Trade Research Methods at the University of Adelaide. In five days we cover everything from the role of evidence in public policy to how to write a report that your boss will read (and even understand). Most of my students have no formal training in statistics (or […]

Is it time for WTO 2.0?

Richard Baldwin, whose writing I like and whose scholarship I respect, thinks so. But I disagree for reasons I spell out (after summarizing RB’s argument) in my paper that you can download here In brief: if we could really do what needs to be done in a WTO 2.0, then we wouldn’t need WTO 2.0 […]

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, […]