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bilateralism & multilateralism

Array of trade pacts a cause for concern: India Inc
With instances of more than one trade pact being inked with a single country under the Government’s bilateral and regional trade agreements policy, Indian industry is apprehending confusion in import clearances arising from multiplicity of `rules of origin’ norms and `negative lists’ applicable on imports from the same country under the numerous agreements signed with it.
Opening up to worries
An interview with Chee Yoke Ling of Third World Network on globalisation, WTO and FTAs
Balance costs with benefits - Shun the FTA straitjacket
The proposed review of India’s Free Trade Agreements points to a much deeper malaise in the process of formulating trade policy. Too often, a fondness for a general principle is allowed to completely overwhelm the specific concerns of each case.
Pitfalls aplenty on the fast track to trade
The distorting aspects of bilateral free trade agreements can be avoided by adopting a multilateral approach, argues Mohamed Ariff.
USTR 2006 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
USTR has recently released its latest annual country-by-country assessment of barriers to US trade around the world, Washington’s basis for unilateral trade sanctions.
Reasons to worry about bilateral trade pacts
An examination of the globalised approach by both EU countries and the US to bilateral FTAs shows that acceleration has occurred as the WTO has lost its effect. While it is easy to rationalise that the global north is acting independently because the WTO is failing, it is more fun to speculate that the global north is acting to stall the WTO since they get much better terms on a one-to-one basis in their agreements with developing countries.
The impact of free trade agreements on intellectual property standards in a post-TRIPS world
We are living in a post-TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) world. Almost every member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has had to reform their intellectual property laws in order to meet the minimum standards of protection that TRIPS prescribes .
Economy too deserves an Arab Summit
The Great Arab Free Trade Area Agreement (GAFTA) was enforced in January 2005 after a 7-year preparatory transition period. This is the first joint Arab economic action likely to help the Arab countries gain huge profits in line with the regulations of the WTO, the venue absorbing regional economic blocs. Most probably, the results in the first experimental year were not up to the expectations.
US ’always in the driving seat in FTA talks’
The economic strength of the United States makes it "virtually impossible" for developing nations to negotiate a fair bilateral free-trade agreement, according to Argentina’s new ambassador to Thailand.
Shrimp farmers demand Thai lawsuit against US at WTO
The shrimpers asked the Commerce Ministry to take the case to the WTO within three days, or breeders from across the country will assemble at the Commerce Ministry to seek justice and to protest against the Thai-US Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations.
Manufacturers bitter with govt over delay in Free Trade deal
Ugandan manufacturers are bitter with the government over its delay to sign the Free Trade Agreement.
Free trade pacts are bad for business
The WTO on March 22 issued a report criticizing the US pursuit of free trade agreements. The report claims that US free trade agreements create political interests in other countries, which complicate the multilateral process.
US will seek fast renewal of trade authority: Portman
The top US trade official said on Wednesday he would push for quick renewal of trade promotion authority, which allows the White House to negotiate agreements that Congress must approve or reject but cannot change.
EU eyeing free trade deals in Asia: Mandelson
The European Union is exploring the prospect of free trade deals with Asian nations once the current round of world trade talks is over, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said on Tuesday.
US seeks trade insurance with bilateral pacts
It’s always wise to have a Plan B. As the US urges progress in the “Doha round” of trade talks, it is also chasing bilateral trade deals across east Asia.
Vietnam: FTA or not?
As Vietnam’s bid to join the WTO comes to its conclusion, economic experts are drawing the public’s attention to another topic: What should Vietnam do about free trade agreements (FTA) within ASEAN?
Beijing neglects trade rule
CHINA is now in the World Trade Organisation and is negotiating free trade agreements. It wants to be a player in the game of world trade. Yet it does not understand the rules of that game. How else to explain Beijing’s decision this week to control the price of exports of iron ore from Australia and Brazil? This is not permitted in the WTO world of multilateral trade.
Japan aims to accelerate FTA talks with model accords
Japan plans to accelerate its efforts to conclude free trade agreements with economic partners by holding negotiations based on "model accords," government officials said Tuesday.
Treaty may boost US investment in Pakistan
The proposed Pakistan-US Bilateral Investment Treaty expected to be signed during President Bush’s visit to Pakistan may increase direct US investment by 8 to 9 percent.
Roadmap for WTO negotiations on Art. XXIV GATT
The WTO rules for bilateral agreements, set by Art. XXIV of GATT are currently under re-negotiation in the WTO. Below is an internal informal WTO discussion paper on these negotiations. This is an invitation to discuss this paper on the Forum of this website on "bilateralism".