bilateralism & multilateralism
The Doha round of world trade talks may have collapsed in Geneva last week — denying the world’s developing countries their promised access to global markets — but leading trade expert Jagdish Bhagwati remains optimistic about the cause of multilateral trade liberalisation.
Now that the global trade talks under the World Trade Organization have collapsed, Japan will be forced to walk down what looks like a rocky road to seek bilateral free trade agreements, marking a departure from its trade policy based on both multilateral and bilateral approaches.
Two weeks ago, members of the World Trade Organization agreed on rules that would make it easier to track bilateral and regional trade deals. Negotiators were concerned that the proliferation of such deals would detract from efforts, already faltering, to reach a global trade pact.
You don’t have to declare multilateralism dead, just because this round of talks is over, but there are three particular, potential consequences of the collapse in the talks.
India is considering economic cooperation agreements with the European Union and Japan to boost trade, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said on Tuesday, a day after global free trade talks collapsed.
Many US Congress Members are interested in how FTAs might address SPS
matters. These Members are concerned that as trade agreements lower agricultural
tariffs, more countries may turn to SPS measures to protect their farmers from import competition.
The failure to reach agreement on the Doha round suggests the era of multilateral trade agreements is coming to an end.
The World Trade Organisation chief Pascal Lamy is upbeat about global trade talks, with the U.S. having indicated that it will go further to cut trade distorting farm subsidies. He is also expecting better offers from all the other major players in the round, including the European Union and the Group of 20 that includes India, Brazil and China, during the mini-ministerial conference next week in Geneva.
Susan Schwab began work last week as US Trade Representative (USTR) at a difficult time for free trade.
In the absence of a breakthrough in multilateral talks, the Bush administration has pressed ahead with smaller bilateral free trade agreements to secure preferential deals as well as cement ties with strategically important countries in the Middle East, the Pacific Rim, and Latin America.
Canada has rested on its resource-boom laurels and has fallen behind in the global race to sign free-trade deals with other countries, Trade Minister David Emerson warns.
Seoul and Washington have just launched free trade talks. The negotiations will be complex, acerbic and angry — and will finally bury the Doha Round of World Trade Organization talks.
The ongoing APEC senior official meeting (SOM II) will discuss Sunday existing and new policies for regional trading agreements and free trade agreements (RTA/FTA), reports from the APEC secretariat said.
The objective of this paper is to analyze what has been the treatment of GIs in the new generation of regional trade agreement as well as the content of the new standards being set.
President George W Bush’s strategy of using individual accords as stepping stones to a unified, global system of trade may be backfiring.
The 16th Inter-Pacific Bar Association Conference, held in Sydney last week, provided a forum to illustrate the enormous impact FTAs have on the economic and social aspects of their respective countries and the legal issues underlying them.
We call upon civil society organizations and social movements from around the world to join with us in showing their strong, united and unequivocal opposition to the completion of the World Trade Organization’s trade ‘round’, and other bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements being forced on people by governments.
Why is there a sudden shift to regionalism as opposed to the much over-blown globalisation represented by multilateralism? Can Africa begin to understand that there is a dynamic and concerted effort at balkanising the continent into segmented disciplines?
Most trade experts believe that if a tentative deal cannot be agreed in the next few months, there will not be time to complete the details and gain approval in the US. If this happens, it would be the first time that the world trade talks have stalled, and may lead to a world which is increasingly divided into protectionist trade blocs.
Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda said the bank would help promote regional trade liberalization as part of the institution’s mid- and long-term strategies.