An enjoyable lunch at Sydney’s “Center for Independent Studies”:http://www.cis.org.au/ today in honor of “Dr Razeen Sally”:http://firstname.lastname@example.org/ 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.
Peter Gallagher is student of piano and photography. He was formerly a senior trade official of the Australian government. For some years after leaving government, he consulted to international organizations, governments and business groups on trade and public policy.
He teaches graduate classes at the University of Adelaide on trade research methods and the role of firms in trade and growth and tweets trade (and other) stuff from @pwgallagher