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December 2005 Archives


Who Will Control the Internet?
Kenneth Neil Cukier (Foreign Affairs) Nov/Dec 2005
Foreign governments want control of the Internet transferred from an American NGO to an international institution. Washington has responded with a Monroe Doctrine for our times, setting the stage for further controversy.

The Ethical Economist
Joseph E. Stiglitz (Foreign Affairs) Nov/Dec 2005
In a major new work, Benjamin Friedman presents a compelling moral case for growth-oriented economic policies. But even he sometimes needs reminding that the kind of growth matters as much as the amount.

Inside the Ivory Tower
Foreign Policy Nov/Dec 2005
Professors of international relations shape future policy debates and mold the next generation of leaders. So who are these dons of diplomacy, and what do they believe?

IMF strategic review: Reform or be left behind
Bretton Woods Update No. 48 Nov/Dec 2005
Plus: Details of a statement by the UN special rapporteur on the right to food calling for the Bank and Fund to be bound by international law; Comment by the Arab NGO Network for Development on the Bank, the Fund and the Arab region; and, as we approach world AIDS day, the latest on the Bank's work on HIV/AIDS including the just-released report by the evaluation department.

From Seattle to Hong Kong
Jagdish Bhagwati (Foreign Affairs) Dec 2005 (WTO Special Edition)
There have been eight rounds of multilateral trade negotiations prior to Doha. Although they all ended well, it is important to remember that few went smoothly. Negotiators in Hong Kong now face real obstacles, but there is reason for hope -- if, that is, they have the will and courage to do what is necessary to succeed.

Rescuing the Doha Round
C. Fred Bergsten (Foreign Affairs) Dec 2005 (WTO Special Edition)
The Doha Round could become the first major multilateral trade talks to fail since the 1930s. To prevent a collapse, policymakers in the G-8 and key developing countries must resolve global monetary and current account imbalances, counter the backlash against globalization, and find a way to jolt the talks back to life.

The Stakes of Doha
Carla A. Hills (Foreign Affairs) Dec 2005 (WTO Special Edition)
Americans should care deeply about the Doha Round, but many do not understand what it means for them and the rest of the world. With the talks barely moving, it is time for supporters of free trade to educate the American people in order to give Washington the backing it needs to break the deadlock.

With or Without Doha
Charlene Barshefsky (Foreign Affairs) Dec 2005 (WTO Special Edition)
Today, the United States confronts four urgent challenges: imbalances in global trade and capital flows, South America's drift, Asia's economic integration, and the Muslim world's decline. International trade policy alone cannot solve these complex concerns, but it can play a pivotal role in dealing with each.

Correcting Misperceptions
Peter D. Sutherland (Foreign Affairs) Dec 2005 (WTO Special Edition)
If trade talks were founded on a rational analysis of economic interests, they would be much easier to conduct and conclude. But most are not, and the Doha Round is no different. The key to ensuring that something worthwhile does emerge from it is to distinguish narrow political agendas from the broader public interest.

Liberalizing Agriculture
Arvind Panagariya (Foreign Affairs) Dec 2005 (WTO Special Edition)
Agriculture will be the make-or-break issue in Hong Kong. On the surface, obstacles to an agreement seem insuperable. But a careful examination of the current agricultural trade regime reveals that prospects for an agreement are not as bleak as they appear.

Doha and Development
William R. Cline (Foreign Affairs) Dec 2005 (WTO Special Edition)
World leaders have dubbed Doha the "development round" because they recognize how much free trade would do to foster development-and how urgent the need for development is. For those hopes to be realized, both industrialized and developing nations must go further toward getting rid of existing barriers.

The WTO: food for thought?
Jacques Berthelot (Le Monde Diplomatique) Dec 2005
The World Trade Organisation should be setting firm rules in agriculture - which is more important to poor countries than to rich ones - to ensure a sustainable future. But the developed nations want ‘access to markets’ and are using reform of their farm subsidies as a bargaining chip to increase their exports of services and industrial goods.

Divergent Views on the Coming Dollar Crisis Recommended!
J. Bradford DeLong (Economists' Voice) Dec 2005
Is the U.S. vulnerable to a full-blown dollar crisis? Why are international finance economists scared and jittery, but domestically-oriented macroeconomists much less concerned?

Financial exchanges: Good times rarely last Economist Subscription Required
Economist Dec 1, 2005
Financial exchanges are booming, but this is no time for complacency.

Fuzzy Trade Math
Arvind Panagariya (WSJ/YaleGlobal) Dec 2, 2005
Agricultural subsidies are not really the stumbling block they are assumed to be.

Acronyms Beyond Comprehension (ABCs)
AT Dec 3, 2005
Understanding the complexities of the World Trade Organization is as difficult as sorting out its alphabet soup of acronyms. But it's on such shaky terminological grounds that the futures of many people, notably India farmers, are going to be decided.

Brazil and India surprise G-7 on trade
IHT Dec 5, 2005
Brazil and India have made a surprise offer of trade concessions to the world's leading industrial nations, but one that depends on those countries resolving their discord over agricultural subsidies, challenging the rich nations to find a solution.

Give the United Nations a Little Competition
Ruth Wedgwood (NYT) Dec 5, 2005
If the United Nations can't reform on its own, America needs to support other multilateral venues.

Japan finally putting nightmare of recession behind it
IHT Dec 6, 2005
Could it be that Japan, long the sick man among major global economies, has finally recovered?

Home Improvement Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Christopher B. Burnham (WSJ) Dec 6, 2005
Five reforms for a better U.N.

The Costs of Failure at the Doha Round Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Jim Sutton (WSJ) Dec 7, 2005
Much is at stake, for rich and poor nations alike.

Members Strike Deal On TRIPS And Public Health; Civil Society Unimpressed
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 42 Dec 7, 2005
WTO Members agreed on 6 December 2005 to amend the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to allow countries with insufficient pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity to import generic versions of drugs still under patent. WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy hailed it as confirmation that "Members are determined to ensure the WTO's trading system contributes to humanitarian and development goals." However, international humanitarian aid group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has warned that the amendment is "based on a mechanism that has failed to prove it can increase access to medicines."

WTO Members Endorse Draft Hong Kong Text After Spat Over Services
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 42 Dec 7, 2005
Following hours of discussions on 2 December, the WTO General Council agreed to endorse a revised version of the draft declaration text for the 13-18 December Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong -- albeit with some additional modifications in response to a disagreement over its language on services. Along with the text, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy and General Council Chair Ambassador Amina Mohamed of Kenya will send ministers a set of questions about the agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) negotiations, in an attempt to guide their debate towards issues that are in particular need of resolution.

Ministerial Chair John Tsang: Development Package Must Not Be "Bargaining Chip"
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 9, Number 42 Dec 7, 2005
With a comprehensive Doha Round pact increasingly unlikely at the WTO's 13-18 December Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, more and more governments are looking to reach an agreement there on a number of development-related issues such as aid for trade and duty- and quota-free market access for exports from least-developed countries (LDCs). However, several developing countries are nervous that they could end up 'paying for' these concessions elsewhere in the negotiations. Hong Kong Commerce, Industry and Technology Secretary John Tsang, who will chair the upcoming meeting, has warned that any such deal must not become a "bargaining chip" in the overall talks.

Why these trade talks need to fail
IHT Dec 8, 2005
Failure at the WTO's Hong Kong meeting might generate momentum for eventual agreement.

Protecting the French Farmer
NYT Dec 8, 2005
Next week, the World Trade Organization will hold its big meeting in Hong Kong to discuss an agreement that was supposed to free up trade in farm products and manufactured goods around the world. Liberalizing farm trade helps poor countries; liberalizing trade in manufactured goods and services helps rich countries.

Doha, Dear...
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) Dec 10, 2005
America's new trade negotiator sees a drop of golden sun.

Global trade: Weighed in the balance
Economist Dec 12, 2005
The Doha round of world trade negotiations was supposed to lift many millions out of poverty. It looks unlikely to do so.

Sino-US trade is 'win-win'
AT Dec 13, 2005
Beijing has called on the US to continue expanding its trade with China, saying it's "win-win cooperation". China's recent purchase of Boeing aircraft and the textile deal between the two nations are examples of joint successes.

India is seeking to codify the rules on outsourcing
IHT Dec 13, 2005
India, among the pioneers of outsourcing, is pressing wealthy countries to make a commitment not to enact legislation that would prohibit offshore services like call centers and software development.

Chad Backs Out of Pledge to Use Oil Wealth to Reduce Poverty
Lydia Polgreen (NYT) Dec 13, 2005
Chad abruptly announced that it plans to alter a law requiring that almost all of the money it earns on oil exports be spent for poverty reduction.

Trading Favors
Peter Mandelson (NYT) Dec 13, 2005
The argument that all that is needed to unblock the current round of trade talks is for the European Union to make meaningful concessions on agriculture is wrong on several counts.

The Stakes in Hong Kong
WP Dec 13, 2005
For a brief moment after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the world's leading nations wanted to extend a ladder of opportunity to poor and potentially resentful nations. They launched a new round of global trade talks, calling it a "development round" because it was supposed to cut farm tariffs and other obstacles to poor countries' progress. The good intentions didn't last. A follow-up summit of trade ministers in Cancun, Mexico, in 2003 broke down chaotically when the European Union and the United States tried to impose an unsatisfactory pseudo-deal on developing countries. Now, after another two-year interval, trade ministers are convening in Hong Kong. Progress has been shamefully slow, and the chances that the round will realize its development potential are almost nil. Still, it's important that the next few days yield at least a modest deal. A collapse could destabilize the global trading system.

For Irish, Latvians fill role of bogeymen
IHT Dec 13, 2005
When nearly 100,000 people took to the streets of Ireland to protest the hiring of cheap East European labor for Irish Ferries, they gave voice to old familiar fears about job security that many thought had been forgotten.

The WTO Can Promote Both Free Trade and Human Rights
Susan Ariel Aaronson and Jamie M. Zimmerman (YaleGlobal) Dec 13, 2005
Provided the supporters and protesters see the potential it holds.

WTO hype and all that junk
AT Dec 14, 2005
For protesters of every shade and persuasion, it's the Olympics of all demonstrations - the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization. For the thousands of delegates in Hong Kong trying to pin down a new world trade order, it's virtually mission impossible, although for many, failure will be a victory of sorts.

Africa Needs Freer Markets -- and Fewer Tyrants Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Franklin Cudjoe (WSJ) Dec 14, 2005
Give poor countries the tools to lift themselves out of poverty.

Adam Smith's Soft Side
Sherrod Brown (Globalist) Dec 14, 2005
In the global trade debate, Adam Smith is usually heralded as perhaps history’s greatest proponent of capitalism. Against that backdrop, U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown, author of "Myths of Free Trade," has a surprising finding. He argues that, contrary to the teachings of Smith's 20th- and 21st-century apostles, the Scottish philosopher more often than not sided with workers.

China: Now that's growth
AT Dec 15, 2005
An imminent revision of government figures may lead China to declare itself the world's fourth-largest economy. The changes, mainly a US$300 billion increase in the official size of the service sector, will leapfrog China past Italy, France and Britain into fourth place.

Poor nations balk at trade proposals
IHT Dec 15, 2005
Some poor countries are so unhappy with the rich countries' supposed efforts to help them that they are warning they may move to block completion of a global trade deal.

Leaders meet to discuss 'the Asian century'
IHT Dec 15, 2005
The inaugural East Asia Summit, which brought together 16 regional leaders for the first time Wednesday, was a mix of here-we-go-again and never-seen-this-before as Asia began shuffling the political deck for the century ahead.

A Coalition of the Willing? Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Gerald P. O'Driscoll (WSJ) Dec 15, 2005
Doha's stall over farm subsidies may be a blessing in disguise.

Free Farm Trade: Sound Economics, Thorny Politics Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Robert J. Samuelson (WSJ) Dec 15, 2005
Blame for the impasse over subsidies lies heavily with the EU.

Yes, We Have Bananas. We Just Can't Ship Them.
Tim Harford (NYT) Dec 16, 2005
Governments of poor countries can help their farmers by reforming the obstacles that stand in their way.

Brazil Could Turn a Trade Victory Into Defeat Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) Dec 16, 2005
Weakened property rights thwart development goals.

Bully Tactics at the WTO Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Dec 16, 2005
Brussels makes up for its shortcomings with name-calling.

The Role of the IMF in the Modern Global Economy
Anne O. Krueger (IMF) Dec 16, 2005
The principal focus of this conference is on finance and banking issues: and today I want to examine some of these issues in the context of the IMF's work. The Fund serves 184 members today, making our task in some ways rather more complicated than it was when the Bretton Woods institutions were founded at the end of the Second World War: 29 countries originally signed the Bretton Woods agreement.

WTO shows that democracy can be a messy thing
IHT Dec 16, 2005
Since taking over as director general last September, Pascal Lamy has apparently softened his attitude to the flaws of the organization he now leads.

WTO negotiators reach limited deal
IHT/NYT Dec 19, 2005
The accord sets a deadline for the global elimination of agricultural export subsidies.

Trading Blows Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
WSJ Dec 19, 2005
France wins, the world's poor lose.

World trade: Hard truths in Hong Kong
Economist Dec 19, 2005
Despite haggling for six days, negotiators at the World Trade Organisation's Hong Kong ministerial made almost no progress on the issues at the heart of the Doha round of trade talks: cutting farm tariffs, freeing trade in industrial goods and opening services markets.

Controversy over World Bank trade & poverty estimates
William R. Cline (CGD) Dec 19, 2005
World Trade OrganizationThree years ago the World Bank said that freeing international trade of all barriers and subsidies would lift 320 million people above the $2 a day poverty line by 2015. But new World Bank projections emphasizing $1 a day poverty and based on new data and methods put the number at just 32 million people. CGD/IIE Senior Fellow William R. Cline, author of Trade Policy and Global Poverty, has been examining the Bank's new calculations and argues that the first estimate was closer to the truth.

The Future of World Trade Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Julian Morris (WSJ) Dec 20, 2005
Time to rethink the WTO's role.

A fateful finale at WTO
IHT Dec 20, 2005
The final document showed much more progress than anyone expected when ministers gathered last week.

Wasted Trade Summit
WP Dec 21, 2005
For further evidence of the devaluation of summitry, look to the past week's World Trade Organization meeting in Hong Kong. Some 6,000 officials representing 149 countries spent six days together, but the vast expense and effort that went into creating such a gathering did not ensure a substantive outcome. The key stakeholders -- the governments of the two dozen biggest economies -- clearly decided that they would show up in Hong Kong and just go through the motions. None seems willing to spend political capital on global trade liberalization. An opportunity to boost global prosperity was squandered, and the losers included the world's poor.

Trade, Oppression, Revenge
David Brooks (NYT) Dec 26, 2005
When democracy and globalization collide.

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