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…

Revised Version of India’s New Model Bilateral Investment Treaty Andrew Cornford

Introduction The initial 2015 draft of a new model Indian bilateral investment treaty contained stringent provisions concerning the definition of investment covered, non-applicability, the obligations of the two parties in the case of claims, and exceptions. [The initial draft was reviewed in SUNS 8094, 17 September and SUNS 8095, 18 September]. These provisions were criticised at the time as likely to hinder foreign direct investment and thus as counterproductive. Revisions of the model in a new draft have introduced greater flexibility under some but not all of these headings and have also included some extensions of rules in the initial…

Trend Reversal in Oil Markets? C.P. Chandrasekhar

In early June 2016, the price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil crossed the $50-a-barrel mark for the first time since July the previous year, having risen from lows of around $25 a barrel in February.  A gradual reversal of the previous steep decline had begun. This had set off speculation that the world economy is entering a new phase of the oil-cycle with prices expected to touch upward of $60-a-barrel by the end of the year. Interestingly, there were two different interpretations of the factors underlying this turn. Some argued that this was evidence of a demand…

Coverage of Prudential Measures in the GATS: Some conclusions of a WTO Appellate Body Andrew Cornford

Since issuance of the framework of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as part of the results of the Uruguay Round negotiations, there has been a continuing controversy as to the scope which it provides for financial regulation. The principal focus of this controversy has been the so-called of the “prudential carve-out” or “prudential exception” of paragraph 2(a) of the Annex on Financial services. This provides latitude under GATS rules for measures taken by members for prudential reasons affecting their financial sectors, notwithstanding other provisions of the GATS. A recent dispute between Panama and Argentina was the occasion…