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:: Across the board ::

This section contains news and analysis of sweeping developments that affect the overall push and pull towards FTAs and bilateral investment treaties. This means major trends relating to bilateralism, often with global consequences, and other cross-cutting issues. New developments arising from US politics, the WTO or South-South alliance-building, for instance, are often reported here as they tend to have systemic impacts.

last update: May 2012

The changing landscape of regional trade agreements
This new WTO discussion paper looks at main trends and characteristics of regional trade agreements, in force and under negotiation. It also examines their effects on third parties and on the multilateral trading system.
New US trade czar faces tests at home and abroad
US Trade Representative Rob Portman, now in his second week on the job, faces numerous challenges as he seeks to build support at home and abroad for an ambitious US trade agenda, observers say.
It’s make or break time for free trade, says Supachai
World Trade Organisation chief Supachai Panitchpakdi has described this month as a crucial period that could make or break the highly-anticipated WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December.
Senate confirms Portman as US Trade Representative
The US Senate has confirmed President Bush’s nomination of Representative Rob Portman to be trade representative. In a statement, Portman said "Congressional approval of the Central American and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, China trade issues, the enforcement of existing agreements, keeping on pace the Doha talks to lower trade barriers, and our ongoing regional and bilateral trade negotiations, are all front and center issues for me."
Proliferation of bilateral FTAs will not undermine WTO process
The proliferation of bilateral free trade agreements (FTA) will not undermine the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) process but instead may smoothen it, Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said.
USTR 2005 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
Office of the US Trade Representative has released its 2005 report on country-by-country barriers to US global trade interests.
Losing out in Asia: The perils of principle
Europe is on the high road to big business losses. As the US races to make trade deals with nations across the world, Europe has held back, on lofty principle. That, in any event, is the message European businesses in Singapore will deliver to EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson when he arrives in the city-state in April.
Bush’s pointsman has his job cut out
After weeks of uncertainty, President George W Bush has nominated as US Trade Representative Rob Portman, a Republican Congressman from Ohio, better known for his loyalty to the President than for any experience in international trade negotiations.
Bush taps congressman as US Trade Representative
Faced with tough political battles over a controversial trade pact with Central America and rising imports from China, President Bush announced today that he had enlisted a congressional insider and loyal supporter to be his new trade chief.
Bush administration submits annual trade report to Congress
The Bush Administration today submitted to Congress the 2005 Trade Policy Agenda and the 2004 Annual Report of the President on the Trade Agreements Program.


  • #A18DoA - Global day of action to defeat free trade and investment treaties
    Website for the global day of action to defeat free trade and investment treaties #A18DoA
  • 21st Century Trade Agreements: Implications for Long-Run Development Policy
    A publication of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. The paper examines the policy space available under various free trade regimes for countries pursuing industrial policies for development.
  • Alianza Social Continental
    La Alianza Social Continental es un foro de organizaciones y movimientos sociales progresistas de las Américas, creado para intercambiar información, definir estrategias y promover acciones conjuntas, todo ello encaminado a la búsqueda de un modelo de desarrollo alternativo y democrático, que beneficie a nuestros pueblos
  • ICC
    International Chamber of Commerce
    A multilingual (English, Spanish, Portuguese) website focusing on social movements and their campaigns, including those against bilateral and regional FTAs.
  • Pambazuka
    In this week’s edition of the Emerging Powers News Round-Up, read a comprehensive list of news stories and opinion pieces related to China, India and other emerging powers...
  • People over profit
    People Over Profit is a campaign network that unites peoples movements and NGOs across the globe to stop free trade agreements (FTAs) and corporate plunder, launched in October 2016.
  • Peoples Global Action
    In February 1998, movements from all continents met in Geneva to launch a worldwide coordination of resistances to the global market, a new alliance of struggle and mutual support called Peoples’ Global Action against "Free" Trade and the World Trade Organisation (PGA).
  • Regional/Multilateral Integration Agreements
    Selected research papers on regional trade agreements, from
  • SOMO
    SOMO links the negotiations and rules on international trade and investment with the actual conduct of corporations within these rules and agreements.
  • South Centre
    An intergovernmental organisation of developing countries
  • Stop fast track!
    10 days to stop fast track in the United States: Jan 22 - 31 2014
  • Third World Network
    TWN’s website is a good source of information and analysis about what’s happening within the multilateral trade system (WTO, UNCTAD, G77, etc).
  • offers a free library of current trade news and resources; a database of dispute settlement tables and statistics; and a user-friendly search tool for legal texts, and other documents.