Infectious unilateralism

An enjoy­able lunch at Sydney’s “Cen­ter for Inde­pen­dent Studies”:http://www.cis.org.au/ today in hon­or of “Dr Razeen Sally”:http://www.lse.ac.uk/people/r.sally@lse.ac.uk/ Dr Sally’s the­sis for the lunch­ers was: # The WTO is bare­ly deliv­er­ing valu­able results now and will deliv­er even less in the future (the Doha round is bound to dis­ap­point) because it focuss­es on nego­ti­at­ed trade agree­ments that do not offer the best eco­nom­ic results; because it is becom­ing infect­ed with ‘UN-ism’ (too many coun­tries try­ing to monop­o­lize the micro­phone); and, because it lacks the lead­er­ship the Unit­ed States was able to give the the trad­ing sys­tem in the 1960s when GATT’s light shone proud­ly atop capitalism’s bushel.
# Uni­lat­er­al liberalization—on the oth­er hand—is infec­tious and will lead to more open mar­kets more quick­ly if giv­en the sup­port that it deserves.
# Region­al Trade Agree­ments are a waste of resources; with few excep­tions they offer no sig­nif­i­cant trade lib­er­al­iza­tion. We had the begin­nings of a spir­it­ed exchange: but there’s a lim­it­ed oppor­tu­ni­ty at a lunch meet­ing to get into seri­ous blood-let­ting. I had an oppor­tu­ni­ty, too, at the lunch to meet, for the first time, three of Australia’s most dis­tin­guished eco­nom­ic blog­gers: “Stephen Kirchner”:http://www.institutional-economics.com/, “Andrew Norton”:http://badanalysis.com/catallaxy/ and “Jason Soon”:http://badanalysis.com/catallaxy/. As you must guess from their writing—since none of them has post­ed a pho­to like “Quiggin”:http://johnquiggin.com/ and I—they are hand­some, qui­et­ly spo­ken and charm­ing in per­son.

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