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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


Two-way deals fill free trade gap
It may seem as though a deal is a deal, but experts in the field differ on the relative merits of bilateral and regional agreements, with each having its friends and foes.
Coalition forces advance
The Bush foreign policy team is looking a bit down in the mouth lately. The much-heralded “coalition of the willing” proved, like the alleged weapons of mass destruction, to be a myth of the Iraq war. But another coalition pieced together by the Bush administration—“the coalition of the liberalizers”—is advancing.
Global trade: Creating a new mindset with FTAs
Although FTAs have both trade-creating and -diverting effects, overall they serve the objective of multilateral trade liberalisation.
USCSI: Statement on the US draft model Bilateral Investment Treaty
In the course of consultations with services industries on the Model BIT, a number of serious concerns have been raised. These relate to (1) the prospective nature of the Model BIT; (2) the breadth of the BIT’s prudential carve-out; (3) the limitations on recourse to investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms in certain cases; and, (4) the dispute settlement process itself.
’Singapore issues’ part of EU’s trade agenda: Lamy
Investment, competition policies, and transparency in government procurement emerged during a recent meeting between trade ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union aimed at seeking ways to boost trade and economic cooperation between the two regions.
Kerry would shift US trade focus towards WTO
Democrat John Kerry probably would put more time and energy into world trade talks and enforcing existing agreements than pursuing bilateral deals like the Bush administration has, a campaign adviser said.
FTA Attraction
Given the apparently easy way in which FTA rules can be bent and misinterpreted, wouldn’t it be better to dispense with them altogether? Moreover, now that the Doha Round of the WTO has been given another lease of life, why not simply wait for global, multilateral tariff reduction?
Patchwork of FTAs won’t do - Doha Round crucial
World Trade Organisation (WTO) members have finally established a framework for negotiations to conclude the Doha Round. This is good news. Failure would have crippled or even killed the round, and marginalised the WTO as a negotiating forum.
TWN: Call to review bilateral trade deals
With a deal being struck at the World Trade Organisation on 31 July to revive negotiations, will the move towards bilateral trade agreements slow down?
Infected by the bilateral bug
On the long trek to a fairer world for New Zealand exporters, 2003 was a year of one step forward, two steps back.

    Links


  • #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
  • Movimientos.org
    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 internationaleconomics.net
  • 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).
  • WorldTradeLaw.net
    WorldTradeLaw.net 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.