Tag Archives: fta

Free trade (not agreements) will make Britain great

To judge from most of the “pro­gres­sive” press and my Twit­ter feed, there is a great deal of ruin in Brex­it. I hear that Britain is so inte­grat­ed into the EU it will be root­less out­side. The UK, I’m told, will need to ‘rejoin’ the WTO after Brex­it. It has no trade agree­ments oth­er than […]

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 […]

Competition policy in PTAs

Here’s a surprise…or is it? Accord­ing to the WTO’s 2011 annu­al report, the most com­mon WTO-exten­­sion (WTO-X) pro­vi­sion of pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ments (PTAs) is in a domain that the WTO dropped from its nego­ti­at­ing agen­da in 2003: com­pe­ti­tion pol­i­cy. Research for the WTO’s 2011 Annu­al Report shows that 90 of the 96 PTAs exam­ined have […]

WTO embraces the irresistible

WTO’s annu­al World Trade Report for 2011 sig­nals a turn­ing-point for the soon-to-be-Doha-less Orga­ni­za­tion. It attempts to pro­vide a ratio­nale for aban­don­ing WTO’s half-hos­tile stand-off with the more dynam­ic uni­verse of pref­er­en­tial trade agree­ments (PTAs) and for embrac­ing PTAs instead. Or, as the sub­ti­tle of the report puts it, in EU-ese, a ratio­nale for mov­ing […]

Sounds good, but…

The cur­rent Labor gov­ern­ment, unlike the Hawke gov­ern­ments, seems bent on announc­ing major pub­lic poli­cies as faits accom­plis and con­sult­ing on the ratio­nale and imple­men­ta­tion only afterwards…if at all. “Trade Min­is­ter Craig Emer­son, who was Bob Hawke’s eco­nom­ic advis­er, will announce the new [trade] pol­i­cy today. It fol­lows debate with­in Labor about how to tack­le […]

Sutherland report on the Future of WTO

WTO has pub­lished a report com­mis­sioned for its tenth anniver­sary from a group of ‘wise men’—chaired by for­mer Direc­­tor-Gen­er­al Peter Suther­land and includ­ing some of the usu­al suspects—on how to make the Orga­ni­za­tion more cred­i­ble and more func­tion­al. The 37 rec­om­men­da­tions include some flog­gings for hob­by hors­es (‘free trade agree­ments’); dubi­ous faith in the abil­i­ty […]