Tag Archives: gatt

Next round of trade protection (Part II)

In this ear­li­er post, I looked at three of the ‘old stand­bys’ that are like­ly to pro­vide gov­ern­ments with all the ‘wig­gle-room’ they need to increase pro­tec­tion while remain­ing nom­i­nal­ly com­pli­ant with their WTO oblig­a­tions.

This time, two more oldies but good­ies that are still more like­ly, in my view, to fig­ure in the com­ing round of trade pro­tec­tion. These two threat­en high lev­els of ‘tai­lor-made’ pro­tec­tion for firms that are strug­gling through the reces­sion, but they do so at the cost of low­er lev­els of demand at home (so much for ‘stim­u­lus’!), increased pres­sure on com­peti­tors in oth­er coun­tries and a fur­ther cut in world trade vol­umes. Bad for almost every­one.

At the end of this post I start to look at some defens­es against the com­ing round of pro­tec­tion.

The next round of trade protection

Change in employment compared to earlier recessionsChange in employment compared to earlier recessions

Will there be one? You bet! The only ques­tions are: how soon and how big?

With employ­ment num­bers in both indus­tri­al­ized and indus­tri­al­iz­ing coun­tries falling, world mar­kets seiz­ing up as a con­se­quence of the cred­it squeeze, icons of glob­al­iza­tion like Dubai bleed­ing debt (and emi­grants) and gov­ern­ments rush­ing out ‘stim­u­lus’ pack­ages to prop up domes­tic demand, the scene is set for some un-neigh­bor­ly action at every inter­na­tion­al bor­der. Nev­er mind that some of these “neg­a­tives” are like­ly to be part of the cre­ative destruc­tion that brings new ideas, new mar­ket entrants and, even­tu­al­ly, new growth.


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The astonishing Julio Lacarte and 60 years of GATT

click for a larger image

No one bet­ter rep­re­sents the fun, ded­i­ca­tion or opti­mism of the peo­ple who cre­at­ed the mul­ti­lat­er­al trad­ing sys­tem than Ambas­sador Julio Lacarte Muró. This recent video inter­view with him, recall­ing his par­tic­pa­tion in the Havana Con­fer­ence (1947) that by it’s ‘fail­ure’ gave birth to the GATT, is a reminder that the goals and prin­ci­ples of that long-ago era still shape our world and promise us a bet­ter one. They could have no bet­ter ambas­sador than the eter­nal­ly smooth Julio Lacarte.

I love his remark about Havana hav­ing been a ‘live­ly town’ in 1947. I bet it was: the Con­fer­ence last­ed 4 months!

WTO: The First Ten Years”

My book, com­mis­sioned by WTO for their 10th anniver­sary, is now avail­able from Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press From the blurb “This book was com­mis­sioned by the World Trade Orga­ni­za­tion (WTO) as a fac­tu­al account of the first decade of its exis­tence. It aims to cov­er the prin­ci­pal activ­i­ties of the WTO as the suc­ces­sor to GATT […]

Review of “Global Trade Advocate” in FT

Alan Beat­tie, the World Trade Edi­tor for the Finan­cial Times has reviewed Glob­al Trade Advo­cate. Here’s a link to the non-sub­­scrip­­tion page ver­sion of the review (also over the fold). To make it eas­i­er for you to see what Alan is talk­ing about when he men­tions the ‘huge rewards’ from trade advo­ca­cy described in GTA, […]