News & Commentary:

May 2005 Archives


Fear Factor: What's Holding Up Doha?
Finance and Development Mar/May 2005
This issue dissects the fears and apprehensions that small, poor countries have when it comes to engaging in the world trading system. With the Doha Development Round at a critical juncture, developing countries must decide whether to fight to keep their preferential trade access to a few key developed country markets or engage in multilateral liberalization. Other articles look at how the IMF must change to stay relevant in the 21st century; and how improving the investment climate is key to economic growth. In The Book Review Section, Nancy Birdsall and Moises Naim debate Sebastian Mallaby's controversial book about the World Bank and its president, James Wolfensohn. Finally, People in Economics tells the story of Bodil Nyboe Andersen, Denmark's central bank governor.

Research summaries on inflation and disinflation Adobe Acrobat Required
IMF Research Bulletin Mar/May 2005
Plus: Policy responses to volatile crude oil prices and fiscal dependency; area study on the West African Economic and Monetary Union countries; summary of IMF study on sovereign debt structure for crisis prevention; titles of recent IMF policy discussion papers; visiting scholars at the IMF; summary of recent book entitled The Macroeconomics of HIV/AIDS; titles of recent IMF working papers; call for papers for the Sixth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference; summary of the Conference on Macroeconomic Policy Challenges in Low-Income Countries.

The Right Choice at the U.N.
NYT May 2, 2005
His experience as Turkey's finance minister and as a development banker makes Kemal Dervis the perfect choice to head the United Nations Development Program.

Erosion of the Nonproliferation Treaty
Jimmy Carter (IHT) May 2, 2005
The United States must lead the charge to fulfill the promises of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to dismantle all existing nuclear weapons and prevent the creation of new ones.

Kick-starting global trade talks
IHT May 2, 2005
The participants of the 2001 Doha round must recommit to its goals of removing global trade barriers in order to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

Moral hazard of bail outs Financial Times Subscription Required
Amity Shlaes (FT) May 2, 2005
Congress has an opportunity to prevent another crisis of moral hazard - the creation of incentives for irresponsible behaviour.

Taking the hit from dollar’s weakness Financial Times Subscription Required
FT May 2, 2005
Raising the price of goods shipped to America has pitfalls for nearly all industrial sectors, so big suppliers are treading warily as US consumer demand shows signs of cooling.

Towards a new map for world trade Financial Times Subscription Required
Peter Mandelson (FT) May 2, 2005
As trade ministers from across the world meet in Paris this week, they will be aware of growing scepticism about the outlook for further liberalising international trade.

Argentina: Held Up
Javier Romo and Luis Arcentales (MSDW) May 3, 2005
It has been just over two months now since Argentina reached an agreement with its creditors, and yet the status of the debt exchange remains in limbo. While most analysts expect a favourable decision as early as this week or next from the US courts, where holdouts have held up the swap, the litigious start to the post-default period should probably serve as a warning of difficulties to come. Indeed, even if the Second Circuit Court in New York rules in Argentina’s favour—the most likely outcome in our opinion—Argentina still has to deal with the IMF, which has been demanding that the authorities deal with the 24% of the holders of defaulted bonds who did not agree to participate in Argentina’s restructuring.

Global: Trapped
Stephen Roach (MSDW) May 2, 2005
With all due respect to the “soft-patch crowd,” maybe there’s something else going on. I continue to see the macro debate through a very different lens. Sure, there may be some temporary aspects to this spring’s global growth scare. But, in my view, there could well be a far more powerful force at work -- the ongoing post-bubble shakeout of the US economy. By default, that means a US-centric global economy could be trapped in the same quagmire.

Buffett's Dollar Bet
WSJ May 3, 2005
A $21 billion gamble that the national currency will decline in value.

Tangled Threads of Protectionism - Part I Recommended!
Pietra Rivoli (YaleGlobal) May 3, 2005
Production quotas have hurt more than helped US and European textile industries.

South Korea Welcomes Foreign Capital
Lee Jang Yung (WSJ) May 3, 2005
New disclosure rules will ensure a level playing field for all market participants.

Currency wars: The view from China's trench
AT May 4, 2005
Beijing rejects accusations that an undervalued yuan is responsible for the US trade deficit. For one thing, China is not the US's biggest trading partner; for another, it's foreign-funded firms that are the main drivers of China's trade.

The drop of oil - High prices here to stay
Kjell Aleklett (AT) May 4, 2005
The writing is on the wall: oil is nearing depletion and has become irreversibly expensive. And no matter what the prophets of alternative energy say, oil has no alternative. No other form of energy is as dependable or cost-effective, says Marshall Auerback. So, we should institute an alarm system to pick up the pieces when oil peaks.

Threatening China: Do You Have a Better Idea? Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Robert J. Samuelson (WSJ) May 4, 2005
The threat tariffs is stupid and dangerous. But it's better than nothing.

Are You Ready to Sign Up for the $100 Oil Club?
Matthew Lynn (Bloomberg) May 4, 2005
The club of people who say that oil is headed for $100 a barrel is growing steadily.

Supachai: Negotiations Behind Schedule For July, Hong Kong
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 15 May 4, 2005
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi warned Members at a 28 April meeting that the ongoing Doha Round trade negotiations were well behind the pace they had set out to achieve earlier this year, potentially threatening the chances of an agreement at the December Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong.

Agriculture: Ministers Meet In Paris To Remove AVE Stumbling Block
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 15 May 4, 2005
The so called "five interested parties" (FIPs) -- Australia, Brazil, EU, India and US -- failed to make a breakthrough on agriculture technicalities during a 2-3 May meeting in Paris. The meeting was held in advance of a 4 May 'mini-ministerial' gathering of representatives from influential WTO Member countries on the sidelines of the annual Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting there. In Geneva, WTO agriculture talks had been suspended on 19 April after a reported deal on the process for converting 'specific' agricultural tariffs based on import quantities into 'ad valorem' equivalents (AVEs), i.e., tariffs based on the price of the product, fell through. On 4 May, ministers from around 30 countries continued talks on the issue.

DG Race Down To Lamy And Perez Del Castillo
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 15 May 4, 2005
Mauritian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Jaya Krishna Cuttaree has withdrawn his candidacy to succeed Supachai Panitchpakdi as the next Director-General of the WTO. The race is now down to two candidates: former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy of France and former Uruguayan WTO Ambassador Carlos Perez del Castillo.

A Better Way to Fight Poverty
NYT May 5, 2005
The United Nations program in Sauri, Nairobi, shows how aid can bypass governments and go straight into the hands of the people who need it the most.

Tangled Threads of Protectionism - Part II Recommended!
Edward Gresser (YaleGlobal) May 5, 2005
The age-old desire to protect the makers of clothes in a country rages on unabated.

China's Yuan: Beware What You Wish For
Uwe Bott (Globalist) May 6, 2005
Concern about the U.S. trade deficit has prompted the U.S. Congress to try and force China to change its currency regime.

Outsourcing: A sea change
Siddharth Srivastava (AT) May 6, 2005
If you can't fly them in, ship them in - and keep them there. That's the strategy of three American entrepreneurs to dodge US visa restrictions on Asian techies. The techies will live and work in a ship floating off California; no need for visas, and jobs and money stay close to home.

China Syndrome Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Steve H. Hanke & Michael Connolly (WSJ) May 9, 2005
Demands that the yuan be revalued are misguided at best.

Is the IMF an Endangered Species in Asia?
William Pesek Jr. (Bloomberg) May 9, 2005
It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack! The reference here is to the so-called ``Asian Monetary Fund.'' Such an animal was mulled during Asia's 1997-98 crisis and quickly died amid strong U.S. resistance to Asia creating a counterpoint to the International Monetary Fund.

Global: Politicization of the Trade Cycle
Stephen Roach (MSDW) May 9, 2005
It’s hard to argue with the theoretical benefits of globalization. It’s the real time application of this theory that appears to be getting the world into trouble. Macro is never pure economics. It invariably involves the powerful interplay among economic, social, and political considerations. The rising tide of protectionist sentiment around the world is an outgrowth of just such an interplay. At work, in my view, is nothing short of growing resistance to globalization -- a backlash that poses a serious threat to the global economy and world financial markets.

Bernes to head IEO Adobe Acrobat Required
IMF Survey May 9, 2005
Plus: De Rato meets Chirac; Israel, Panama, Yemen, and Lithuania; Book notes - Pietra Rivoli and Thomas L. Friedman; Capital inflows to South Africa; Peter Nicholl in Bosnia; Timor-Leste, Cambodia; HIV/AIDS and aid; ECOSOC meeting on MDGs.

Tangled Threads of Protectionism - Part III Recommended!
Linda Lim (YaleGlobal) May 10, 2005
Retraining and innovation would help to save jobs better than a tariff wall.

Argentina or the "Principles"?
Ernesto Zedillo (Forbes/YaleGlobal) May 10, 2005
Advice for emerging economies: Stick to global principles and play safe.

Bilderberg strikes again
Pepe Escobar (AT) May 10, 2005
Over 100 Western movers and shakers have just concluded their secret annual gathering as members of the exclusive Bilderberg club. Previously they have been known to shape world affairs. This time is likely to have been no different. - Pepe Escobar

Why Fear Cafta? Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Rob Portman (WSJ) May 10, 2005
The trade agreement will allow us to compete more effectively with China.

As deficits widen, Congress wary of new trade deals
IHT May 10, 2005
Social Security is not the Bush administration's only economic initiative that is in trouble in Congress.

'Revaluation not imminent'
AT May 11, 2005
There have been many hints in recent months that China is considering a major revaluation of the yuan, allowing it to strengthen against the dollar. In the last few days, there have been increasing indications that such a move might be imminent. In the following article from China's official news service, bank officials claim that pressure to revalue the yuan comes from domestic needs, and warn against near-term speculation on the yuan.

Yuan Watching Like Waiting for Godot
William Pesek (Bloomberg) May 11, 2005
Watch what they do, not what they say.

Agriculture: Key Trade Ministers Strike AVE Deal In Paris
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 16 May 11, 2005
Ministers from thirty key WTO Member countries made a technical breakthrough in the WTO agriculture talks on 4 May on an issue that had been bedeviling the overall progress of the Doha Round talks. They reached a preliminary compromise on how to convert 'specific' agricultural tariffs based on quantities imported into 'ad valorem' equivalents (AVEs), i.e., tariffs based on the price of the product. Members have been caught up in disagreement over the conversion process for months; settling the matter is a prerequisite for the rest of the agriculture negotiations to proceed.

Paris Mini-Ministerial Revives Optimism About July 'Approximations'
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 16 May 11, 2005
Trade ministers from 30 influential WTO Member countries have once again cast their eyes on the end of July for coming up with well-developed 'first approximations' of a deal that Members may then flesh out and adopt at the WTO's December Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong. This followed a 4 May breakthrough on a technical issue related to agricultural tariffs that had been effectively blocking the Doha Round trade talks, during the course of a WTO 'mini-ministerial' meeting in Paris (see related story, this issue).

Land of the rising FTA
AT May 12, 2005
Partly because of the domestic pressure to protect its uncompetitive agricultural sector, Japan has traditionally been circumspect about free trade agreements (FTAs). But the country is now pushing for FTAs with a vengeance, having realized the potential of such alliances to liberalize the Japanese economy.

The Pirate Kingdom
Pat Choate (NYT) May 12, 2005
The United States should bring an intellectual property case against China at the World Trade Organization.

Supachai Welcomes Appointment to UNCTAD
WTO May 12, 2005
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi expressed deep appreciation to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and to the UN General Assembly on the confirmation yesterday (11 May) of his appointment to lead the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for the next four years, beginning on 1 September 2005.

Begging for dollar devaluation
Jephraim P. Gundzik (AT) May 13, 2005
As pressure on China to revalue the yuan continues, voices can be heard arguing against such a move. A revaluation of the yuan is tantamount to a devaluation of the dollar, and could cause unpredictable adverse consequences for the American economy.

Counterfeiting is out of control
IHT May 13, 2005
Intellectual property theft stifles innovation and threatens knowledge-based industries; the G8 should act to stop it.

One Asian currency?
Michael Vatikiotis (IHT) May 13, 2005
The gulf that Asia needs to bridge before establishing anything like a European-style financial union is dauntingly wide.

Bittersweet Trade Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ May 13, 2005
If the sugar lobby kills Cafta, here's how to respond.

Seeds of Hope in Africa Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Jim Hoagland (WSJ) May 13, 2005
Africa struggles to escape back to the future.

Fraying Free-Trade Coalition
E. J. Dionne Jr. (WP) May 13, 2005
Rep. Ellen Tauscher, chairwoman of the House's 42-member New Democrat Coalition, coins aphorisms at the rate of about one per minute.

Global: Low Tide
Stephen Roach (MSDW) May 13, 2005
It was bound to happen. Cycles of fear and greed are as old as financial markets themselves. When asset prices go to excess, we always hear the same refrain, “This time it’s different.” That was the spin on tulips in the 17th century, equities in the summer of 1987, the Nikkei in 1989, fixed income markets in 1993, and, of course, Nasdaq in 2000. Chastened by the inevitable post-bubble carnage, speculators, regulators, and policy makers always promise, “Never again.” Yet memories are short, and as day follows night, so do cycles of greed and fear — and the proverbial next time. Such is the case with the wrenching unwinding that is now occurring in a broad array of so-called structured credit products. The possibility of contagion to other spread markets — namely, high-yield and emerging-market debt, as well as investment-grade corporates — cannot be ruled out. In my view, that could well open up a serious fault line in America’s asset-dependent economy.

Currencies: The Dollar Is Good, EUR/Asia to Trade Lower
Stephen Jen (MSDW) May 13, 2005
No forecast change, still constructive on USD.

The Cafta challenge
FT May 13, 2005
It is a measure of the importance of Washington's proposed Central American free trade deal that George W. Bush, US president, met yesterday with the leaders of all six countries involved. While bilateral agreements such as Cafta are generally not a good way to liberalise trade, Mr Bush should do all he can to make this one happen.

Lamy set to take the helm at WTO
IHT May 14, 2005
The French economist is expected to elevate the profile of the global body.

Who's Afraid of the Hyperpower?
Alexander Moens (WP) May 14, 2005
You can find numerous books, newspaper articles and academic conferences dedicated to the theme of American primacy, hegemony or even imperialism.

China assails U.S. textile quotas
IHT May 16, 2005
China responded angrily on Sunday to the new limits that the United States placed on its clothing exports and manufacturers here called for tit-for-tat restrictions.

US's Latin lessons Financial Times Subscription Required
FT May 16, 2005
Anti-US sentiment and political instability are on the rise in Latin America. Washington's proposed free trade deal with Central America is a test of its ability to meet its promises.

Asia uncomfortably exposed Financial Times Subscription Required
Guy de Jonquières (FT) May 16, 2005
Eight years on, Asia's financial crisis seems a distant memory. Growth has rebounded, however, the party could quickly end.

In search of equilibrium
David Gosset (AT) May 17, 2005
The asymmetry between the "hyperpower" - the US - and the other members of the international community has no precedent. Equilibrium will depend very much on positive dynamics between the EU, the US and China.

Another U.S. Trade Cave-In Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ May 17, 2005
Curbing imports from China will not bring business back to the U.S.

Dollar's rise fails to ease doubts on its prospects
IHT May 17, 2005
The dollar is enjoying its strongest rally in over half a year.

U.S. and EU turn up the heat on China
IHT May 18, 2005
The decision to curb exports will test the EU's relations with China.

In harsh tone, Beijing is given deadline on yuan
IHT May 18, 2005
In language far harsher than any it has used before, the Treasury Department declared that China's fixed exchange rate between its currency, the yuan, and the dollar posed a risk to itself as well as to global growth.

U.S. Warns China About Currency
Edmund L. Andrews (NYT) May 18, 2005
The White House threatened retaliation against China's exports if Chinese leaders did not change their currency policies.

'We are a banana republic'
Pepe Escobar (AT) May 18, 2005
Paul Krugman, the Mick Jagger of punditry, has an opinion on everything, from China's rise to the "banana republic" status of the US.

Pascal Lamy Set To Become Next WTO Director-General
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 17 May 18, 2005
Former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy is set to succeed Supachai Panitchpakdi as Director-General of the WTO. His last remaining rival for the job, former Uruguayan WTO Ambassador Carlos Perez del Castillo, conceded defeat on 13 May. Barring any unforeseen problems, the 26-27 May meeting of the WTO General Council will formally confirm his appointment; he is set to start a four-year term on 1 September.

S&DT Talks Forge Ahead With LDC Proposals
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 17 May 18, 2005
Negotiations on special and differential treatment (S&DT) at the WTO moved ahead at meetings on 10 and 12 May, in which Members agreed to examine agreement-specific proposals that have been put forward by least developed countries (LDCs). At the two-day meeting of the Committee on Trade and Development Special (negotiating) Session (CTD-SS), Members put aside -- for the time being -- the Chair's previous approach and instead moved forward by examining five proposals that the LDCs have put forward for enhanced S&DT.

Tougher on China
WP May 19, 2005
Last week the Bush administration announced plans to impose quotas on Chinese clothing exports. On Tuesday it warned China that it may brand it a currency manipulator. In the first case, the administration is bowing to congressional pressure to get tough. In the second, it is trying to resist such misguided pressure, even while signaling that it will cave in to the hard-liners soon if China fails to change its policy.

South of China
FT May 19, 2005
It is almost impossible these days to discuss the global economy without talking about China, whether the issue is textile exports or foreign exchange markets. Given the country's fast-growing share of world output and international trade, this China obsession is entirely natural.

Can China Be Contained?
Jeffrey E. Garten (YaleGlobal) May 19, 2005
In a close-knit world, pressuring Beijing could have unintended consequences

US fires another shot in China trade row
AT May 20, 2005
The US Commerce Department has slapped "safeguard" restrictions on four additional categories of Chinese textile products, adding to three categories that were similarly restricted last week. The moves are the latest shots in an escalating trade row between the two countries. - Brian Wingfield

Bumpy road for new Asian lending bank
AT May 20, 2005
Asia's infrastructure lags behind its amazingly fast growth. The Asian Development Bank can lend only US$6 billion to governments, while the region needs an annual investment of $200 billion and more private sector involvement. The UN wants to create an Asian Investment Bank to solve the problem, but Japan and the US are not game.

The Chinese Connection
Paul Krugman (NYT) May 20, 2005
The United States is addicted to cheap foreign loans.

A Sensible Solution to Beijing's Yuan Dilemma Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Charles Wolf (WSJ) May 20, 2005
Resolution of the dilemma lies in synchronizing two policy changes.

'Developing Countries Should Have a Bigger Say in the World Bank and IMF'
Kemal Dervis (YaleGlobal) May 20, 2005
In a recent interview with YaleGlobal editor Nayan Chanda, Kemal Dervis, former Minister of Economic Affairs in Turkey and author of the book A Better Globalization, talks about reforming the United Nations Security Council and the role of international financial institutions. Excerpts of the interview follow.

Goodbye to the 'Currency Board' Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Gary Moon-Cheung Shiu (WSJ) May 20, 2005
HKMA is gradually transforming itself into a central bank.

Yuan revaluation debate:A dangerous distraction
Sheetal K Chand (AT) May 21, 2005
Most assumptions underlying the revaluation argument are highly questionable. For one, the currency may not be overvalued at all. Furthermore, a stronger yuan would be risky for China, bring little benefit to the US and EU, and distract attention from the fundamental cause of the problem - an international monetary "non-system".

The Yuan Diversion
NYT May 21, 2005
Rather than positioning ourselves as China's adversary, it would be wise to cooperate, starting with honest discussion.

A dangerous mix of politics and trade
Philip Bowring (IHT) May 22, 2005
We will all pay a high price for the erosion of the multilateralism in trade and finance---and sooner than we think.

Greenspan's Yuan Policy Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ May 23, 2005
Greenspan doesn't think revaluation would yield any benefits for the U.S.

De Rato travels to Africa Adobe Acrobat Required
IMF Survey May 23, 2005
Plus: Turkey's new loan; Cameroon; Singapore; Tajikistan; Asia's economic outlook; Kydland interview; Value-added tax; IMF trade policy; Trade conference; Political economy of hatred.

Global: What if China Slows?
Stephen Roach (MSDW) May 23, 2005
The herd always runs tightly in momentum-driven financial markets. That seems to be even more the case today. In a growth-starved world, most are now convinced that the China boom is here to stay. That could be wishful thinking. China is now putting policies in place aimed at taming the internal excesses of its unbalanced economy. At the same time, the rest of the world is ganging up on Chinese exports. What if the unthinkable happens -- and the Chinese economy actually slows?

The next reserve currency
AT May 24, 2005
It could ultimately become too costly for others to conduct bilateral trade with the currency of a third country that has huge debts and no plausible recipe for a turnaround. After outsourcing American production, an outsourcing of control of international trade could be next.

Yuan revaluation: The Oz view
AT May 25, 2005
As US and Chinese officials exchange barbs over the yuan revaluation issue, Australians are watching nervously. A revalued yuan could increase the cost of Chinese imports, sparking inflation, higher interest rates, and even a global recession.

Growth and the Poor
NYT May 25, 2005
Growth will not reduce poverty unless Latin American governments redirect it to the poor.

Danger ahead for the world economy: OECD
AT May 26, 2005
High oil prices and a ballooning US trade deficit pose grave dangers for the world economy, says the Paris-based OECD. More so because the industrialized nations, especially those in the euro region, can't seem to get out of their rut.

Stronger Yuan Won't Mend U.S. Apparel Industry
Caroline Baum (Bloomberg) May 25, 2005
The Bush administration heaped insult on top of congressional injury last week, putting the screws to China on its inflexible exchange rate.

Bush Wants China to Revalue? Replace Snow
William Pesek Jr. (Bloomberg) May 25, 2005
There's a big flaw in the Bush administration's campaign to prod China to boost its currency: John Snow.

TNC: Supachai Downplays Expectations For July; Focus Now On Hong Kong
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 18 May 25, 2005
The WTO Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC), chaired by Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, convened for a half-day meeting on 19 May to take stock of progress in the Doha Round. Although he welcomed a preliminary deal at a recent mini-ministerial allowing forward movement on agriculture, Supachai urged delegates to speed up their talks, saying that the overall negotiations are progressing too slowly. He toned down the significance of coming up with 'first approximations' of a Doha Round deal in July, and said Members should focus on what is needed for a successful outcome at the December WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong.

Textiles Debate Heats Up; China Imposes New Export Duties
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 18 May 25, 2005
The Chinese government on 20 May attempted to ease trade tensions with the US and the EU by raising export tariffs on textiles to up to five times their previous levels, although it said that these restrictions would not apply to categories subject to import restrictions. Nonetheless, on 23 May the US government imposed safeguard import quotas on three categories of imports from China, as it had announced it would ten days before. The EU decided on 25 May to request formal consultations with China at the WTO on 31 May unless a settlement was reached by that time, a process that could culminate in further import restrictions on Chinese textile exports.

China's Obligation Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
John W. Snow (WSJ) May 26, 2005
Beijing badly needs a more flexible renminbi regime. So does the world economy.

French Furies Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Matthew Kaminski (WSJ) May 26, 2005
The EU gets drowned in an anti-globalization wave.

WTO agrees entry talks with Iran
BBC May 26, 2005
The World Trade Organisation is to start entry talks with Iran after the US dropped its objections.

WTO Members choose Lamy as organization's 5th Director-General
WTO May 26, 2005
The 148 members of the WTO today (26 May 2005) formally selected Pascal Lamy of France to be the organization's fifth Director-General. "I congratulate Pascal on his selection as Director-General. His experience in trade matters, his grasp of detail and his proven track record in institutional management ensure that he will be an excellent Director-General. I look forward to working closely with him in the future," said Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, who will assume 1 September the post of UNCTAD Secretary General.

How to Jump-Start the WTO
Susan Ariel Aaronson and Jamie Zimmerman (YaleGlobal) May 26, 2005
Rich nations must show leadership by opening their doors to developing country farm products.

Keep your (made-in-China) shirt on
AT May 27, 2005
Is a US-China trade war imminent? It would seem so, given the pot-shots various US politicians are taking at China over its clothing exports and the value of the yuan. But so far, both sides are playing by the rules, and the US saber-rattling is mainly for domestic consumption. Brian Wingfield examines the issues.

After the Haircut, Argentina Readies the Shave Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) May 27, 2005
As other competitors for global capital race along the highway of liberalization, Argentina risks slipping further behind.

W.T.O. to Start Talks to Admit Iran
Elaine Sciolino (NYT) May 27, 2005
The decision came after the United States dropped its longstanding opposition to Iranian membership in the organization.

The Payoff from Globalization
Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Paul L. E. Grieco (IIE/YaleGlobal) May 27, 2005
Has the United States gained from a half-century of trade liberalization?

Neil Diamond Economics
Slate May 27, 2005
Obscure economic indicator: immigration applications and the dollar.

The China Scapegoat
Nicholas D. Kristof (NYT) May 29, 2005
The most important diplomatic relationship in the world is between the U.S. and China. It's souring and could get much worse.

Suddenly, euro isn't looking so good
IHT May 31, 2005
By throwing Europe's political future into disarray, analysts said, the vote could undermine the currency's stability as it seeks to expand to more countries.

Farewell, Wolfensohn
IHT May 31, 2005
Let us hope that Wolfensohn's successor maintains the antipoverty mission that he so clearly articulated and that he has the equivalent intellect, drive and passion.

A New Battle Over Free Trade
NYT May 31, 2005
The Central American Free Trade Agreement is far from a perfect trade pact. But Cafta still deserves to be approved.

Globalization game
Clyde Prestowitz (Boston Globe) May 31, 2005
US pressure on Beijing to revalue its yuan is now dominating the news, but China is only following Japan as a manifestation of a much bigger problem. Globalization is broken. As currently structured, it is undermining US productive capability and becoming unsustainable.

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