How to Rescue the Global Economy?

Volume
13,
Number
1
-
30 March 2009
30 March 2009
Faced with deteriorating economic indicators across the board, decision-makers are navigating between the ‘siren call' of protectionism and the need to avoid beggar-thy-neighbour policies. According to the WTO's latest assessment, export volumes will shrink by 9 percent in 2009, the biggest such...
30 March 2009
What will be the key features of trade policy in the Obama administration? The recent flap over the Buy American provisions in the economic stimulus bill offers some valuable clues. While some see this episode as just another manifestation of a global trend towards economic nationalism, a closer...
30 March 2009
Finance chiefs of the world's twenty biggest economies promised in March to fight ‘all forms of protectionism', as well as urged countries to take concerted action to regulate the banking sector and reform international financial institutions. The finance ministers met in preparation for the 2...
30 March 2009
Despite promises and exhortations to eschew protectionism emanating from a variety of international fora, evidence is mounting on a significant rise in the use of instruments that curb imports, boost exports or otherwise convey advantages to domestic industry. According to the World Bank, some 78...
30 March 2009
With the Doha Round negotiations effectively in mothballs, WTO Members have returned with renewed vigour to examining how present agricultural subsidy commitments are kept and notified. At a 12 March regular meeting of the WTO Committee on Agriculture, several delegations raised concerns about the...
30 March 2009
The first WTO ‘services week' in more than six months will take place from 30 March to 8 April. The talks will include meetings of the working groups on financial services, domestic regulation, rules and scheduling, as well as bilateral and plurilateral market access discussions between Members. A...
30 March 2009
A February meeting revealed no fundamental changes of heart in Members' positions on proposed changes to the WTO's anti-dumping and subsidy disciplines. The meeting of the Negotiating Group on Rules provided WTO Members their first chance to comment on the revised text proposed by chair Guillermo...
30 March 2009
In early March, Brazil and the US completed their representations to the arbitration panel that is deliberating on the level of trade retaliation that Brazil will be allowed to undertake following the United States' failure to remove all cotton subsidies found to violate WTO rules. Both countries...
30 March 2009
European and Latin American negotiators appear to be nearing a conclusion to the WTO's longest-running dispute, unofficial sources from both sides say. In February, the EU reportedly offered to lower its most-favoured-nation banana tariff from -176 per metric tonne to -114 per tonne by 2019. This...
30 March 2009
On 15 January, the US announced changes to the products affected by retaliatory tariffs in the beef-hormones dispute. Although the move did not alter the amount of WTO-sanctioned retaliation (US$116.9 million), more than 40 new products were slated for 100-percent tariffs (French Roquefort cheese...
30 March 2009
Despite vigorous US protestations about judicial overreach, rulings condemning zeroing continue to pile up. An Appellate Body judge has called for an end to the debate. Zeroing refers to a method of calculating anti-dumping and countervailing duties that only takes into account those occasions...
30 March 2009
The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body has adopted the first ever panel report involving China's enforcement of intellectual property rights, finding for the defendant on the central point. The principal US claim was that Chinese legislation sets such high thresholds for criminal prosecution of...
30 March 2009
On 20 March, the US rejected Mexico's first request for a dispute settlement panel on its claim that the criteria for the dolphin-safe logo administered by the US Department of Commerce discriminate against Mexican tuna exports. At the core of the dispute is the Mexican tuna fleet's use of purse...
30 March 2009
Sparked by the confiscation of a generic drugs shipment in Amsterdam in December, and similar incidents that have come to light since, poor countries' access to affordable medicines is back on the agenda of the multilateral trading system. On 4 December, Dutch customs authorities confiscated a...
30 March 2009
The confiscation by Dutch customs authorities of a shipment of the pharmaceutical ‘losartan' in transit from India to Brazil is one of the most troubling post-Doha Declaration actions affecting public health interests of developing countries. The totality of the circumstances highlights so many...
30 March 2009
An interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) could be signed by mid-2009 between the European Union and the Southern Africa region after seven years of negotiations. The Southern African EPA region comprises Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa. The latter...
30 March 2009
Bolivia is considering a WTO complaint over the 15 December suspension of its trade preferences under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). The Bush administration cited Bolivia's failure to live up to the programme's counter-narcotics co-operation criteria as the reason for...
30 March 2009
‘Fair-trade reformers' in the US Congress have called for sweeping policy changes in order to give the government a freer hand in addressing domestic and global challenges. On 26 February, fifty-three House Democrats and one Republican wrote a letter to President Obama on the kind of agenda that...
30 March 2009
The 2009 Trade Policy Agenda released by the US Trade Representative in March offers a first glimpse on President Obama's priorities. Despite a lack specifics, the blueprint makes clear that the administration is not envisaging fresh trade concessions, at least in the short term. Overall, the...
30 March 2009
Trade in information technology goods faces an increasingly uncertain legal environment. A major component of that environment is the Information Technology Agreement, the application of which has recently been challenged at the WTO. Signed in December 1996, the ITA created tariff-free trade in a...
30 March 2009
China has suggested that carbon emissions incurred during the manufacture of exported goods should the shouldered by the country where they are consumed. The proposal was made at a Washington meeting between top US climate policy-makers and their counterparts from China, the EU, Japan and Mexico on...
30 March 2009
Bowing to pressure from the European Biodiesel Board (EBB), the EU on 13 March imposed temporary anti-dumping and countervailing duties - ranging from -26 to -41 per 100 kilogrammes - on imports of US biodiesel. The temporary duties may be made permanent after six months, in which case they could...
30 March 2009
Participants at a scientific conference held in Copenhagen in March were shocked to hear new, much higher estimates for likely sea-level rise and rainforest loss that could lead to trees emitting more carbon than they store. Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)...
30 March 2009
Last November in Beijing, government officials representing member states of the World Health Organisation adopted a declaration that provides a powerful endorsement of traditional medicine and may one day become the foundation for a legally binding resolution. The WHO Congress on Traditional...
30 March 2009
As negotiations accelerate in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate change conference in December, trade-related issues have emerged as key elements of the discussions. The debate has tended to treat climate change and trade policies as either friends or foes. A new ICTSD study took up the...
30 March 2009
WTO Meetings Apr. 6 Council for Trade in Services - Special Session Apr. 13 Committee on Regional Trade Agreements Apr. 20 Dispute Settlement Body Apr. 22-24 Eleventh Round of Consultations on the Development Assistance Aspects of Cotton Apr. 27 Negotiating Group on Trade Facilitation May 12...
30 March 2009
Selected Documents Circulated at the WTO Agriculture. 2 March 2009. European Communities' Nofication of Domestic Support 2004-2006. (G/AG/N/EEC/59) Agriculture. 19 January 2009. United States' Nofication of Domestic Support 2006-2007. (G/AG/N/USA/66) Dispute Settlement. 26 January 2008. China -...
30 March 2009
Since the beginning of the financial crisis, officials have proposed and/or implemented roughly 78 trade measures. Of these, sixty-six involved trade restrictions, forty-seven of which eventually took effect. See graph on page 1.