One Belt, One Road, One Grand Design? Jayati Ghosh

It is a truism of history that rising powers tend to be the ones valorising “free” trade and more open and integrated national economies, just as waning powers tend to turn inwards. So it is no surprise that over the past half year, as the United States elected a President with an avowedly protectionist agenda (even if relatively little has been acted upon so far), China’s President has become the chief advocate of globalisation and more extensive trade and investment links across countries. This drumbeat reached a crescendo in mid-May 2017, at a summit in Beijing to celebrate the official…

Interpreting Trump’s Trade Diplomacy C.P. Chandrasekhar

As Donald Trump settles into his Presidency and his surprise economic appointees begin to travel the world, signals as to what the external economic agenda of the United States would be during Trump’s term are emerging. One such signal was the unwillingness of the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, while attending the G20 summit of finance ministers and central bankers at Baden Baden over 17-18 March, to accept the old normal that any departure from global free trade was taboo. Conventionally, every communique from G 20 summits since the first in 2008 had committed to “resist all forms of protectionism”.…

Can Developing Asia Hold its Ground? C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

Capital flight from Asia points to investor concerns about both political processes in the big Asian developing economies and medium-term economic prospects. developing_asia_hold_ground (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on December 5, 2016)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Some Critical Concerns Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

The TPP Agreement is mainly about imposing new rules favoured by large multinational corporations; so there are concerns that its provisions will serve to reduce the costs to and increase the earnings of multinational businesses, with little commensurate gain for host countries. tpp_canada_commons_select_committee  (Download the full text in PDF format)

Analysis of the Main Controversies on Domestic Agricultural Supports Jacques Berthelot

This paper tries to provide food for thought for the debate in analysing the main controversies around ten methodological issues of opposite concepts such as, agricultural supports vs agricultural subsidies; administered prices vs market prices etc. domestic_agricultural_supports (Download the full text in PDF format)    

Too Many Years of Living Dangerously: The UNCTAD Trade and Development Report 2016 Jayati Ghosh

For many years now, the Trade and Development Reports produced by UNCTAD have been providing a voice of sanity in a global discourse on the world economy that has often appeared to be dominated by denial and irrelevance. The Report has also often proved to be remarkably prescient, for example by anticipating as early as 2006 the likely collapse of financial markets that occurred in 2008, or by pointing in the past few years to the futility of excessive reliance on monetary policies alone to lift economic growth, which policy makers are only beginning to come to grips with at…

CETA without Blinders: How cutting ‘trade costs and more’ will cause unemployment, inequality and welfare losses Pierre Kohler and Servaas Storm

Contrary to the positive outcomes as projected by the proponents of CETA, this paper shows that it will lead to intra-EU trade diversion and in the current context of tepid economic growth, competitive pressures induced by CETA will cause unemployment, inequality and welfare losses. ceta (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published as GDAE Working Paper No. 16-03.)

Tanzania, Nigeria and the EU: Free trade discord Rick Rowden

From the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to the European Union and African countries’ trade and development ministers, nearly everyone agrees that African economies must industrialise. Yet despite this broad consensus, when it comes down to the specific policies needed there remains widespread disagreement. The recent refusals of Nigeria and Tanzania to sign on to the EU’s proposed free trade deals, or Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), are the starkest manifestation of diverging agendas. Nigeria has consistently opposed the EPA for west Africa. However Tanzania’s last minute decision in July to back away from the EPA for…

The End of US-led Economic Globalisation? Jayati Ghosh

There is much angst in the Northern financial media about how the era of globalisation led actively by the United States may well be coming to an end. This is said to be exemplified in the changed political attitudes to mega regional trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed (but has not yet been ratified) by the US and 11 other countries in Latin America, Asia and Oceania; and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) still being negotiated by the US and the European Union. President Obama has been a fervent supporter of…