Here’s my take on what really went down when Helen Clark met George Bush at the White House. The big international agenda - those issues that are really central to the security of the Western world, such as Iraq - was on the table.
Helen Clark needs to muscle up to George Bush this week and directly push the case for a bilateral free trade deal with the United States.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report estimated that the benefits to Australia from the US FTA would be $ 9.9 billion over 20 years. That would amount to a mere $26.05 per person per year. Common sense suggests that it would be ridiculous to bargain away Australia’s sovereignty for such a “benefit”.
The issue of an Egyptian-American free trade agreement figured prominently on the agenda of talks between Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Rashid Mohamed Rashid and US Deputy Secretary of Commerce David Sampson last week.
A free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Malaysia, in its final round this week, has run into opposition from trade unions and also from U.S. lawmakers opposed to an energy deal struck between this country and Iran.
A senior US trade official on Tuesday dashed Taiwan’s hopes that Washington could enter into negotiations on a US-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) anytime soon, and said that Taiwan would have to gain strong support from the US business sector and Congress before an FTA could ever be considered.
FTAs are increasingly being regarded by many countries as Washington’s economic analogue of a nuclear bomb.
Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz told Washington to stay out of Malaysia’s affairs and warned the government will not bow to any threats, the Malay-language Utusan Malaysia reported. "I am ready to advise the government to cancel the FTA discussions immediately," she was quoted as saying.
A key US lawmaker on Wednesday called on the administration of President George W Bush to suspend free trade talks with Malaysia in protest over its mega energy deal with Iran.
Presidents including Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales are bypassing the US in reaching trade accords and strengthening diplomatic and commercial ties with nations that compete with, or are hostile toward, US interests.
China and Japan are locked in a rivalry over at least three flashpoints: Free trade agreements, particularly in the region; oil energy; and Taiwan.
An influential Republican senator has asked President George Bush to negotiate a full scale free trade agreement with India following the successful conclusion of the India-US civil nuclear deal.
Japan is revving up its drive toward free-trade agreements (FTAs), a move largely fueled by an intensifying rivalry with China over leadership in regional economic integration and increasingly tough global competition for oil, gas and other resources.
An exciting development is the number of new South-South inter-governmental alliances that are emerging to defend their interests and challenge the bias of the current global trade and investment regime.
Trade with China is likely to become an increasingly politically sensitive issue for a number of countries on the continent. That is because China is essentially buying the continent’s oil and minerals and selling back manufactured goods, a type of relationship redolent of a colonial one and similar to most of Africa’s existing trade relations with Europe and the US.
In the economic field, imperialism’s consternation with the slow pace of forging multilateral North-South agreements under the Doha round of meetings of the World Trade Organization have led to the more energetic push for bilateral Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
Ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to New Delhi this month, security concerns about firms from his country investing in India is turning into a touchy issue.
The European relations with the Arab World can be regarded as a model that the US should follow. The evidence lies in the welcome of free trade agreements between the EU and Arab countries, and in the doubts about free trade agreements with the US.
The European Parliament has reaffirmed that Syria must respect democratic values and human rights before the Council of 25 EU member states could approve the EU-Syria Association Agreement that has been on ice for two years.
The Bush administration has a prescription for fighting coca growing, sidelining Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and saving thousands of jobs in Latin America: extending free trade for Andean nations.