Trade Wars of United States Biswajit Dhar

In the past few months, President Donald Trump has authorised a series of protectionist measures, the likes of which have not been seen in the postwar decades. The first salvo was fired in early March 2018, with the imposition of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from all countries except its immediate neighbors, Canada and Mexico. The President of the United States (US) then turned his attention to China, announcing that relatively high tariffs would be imposed to counter, what he perceived was “unfair” trade practiced by the second largest economy. Both acts of protectionism were promptly responded to…

RCEP Deal can be disastrous for India Biswajit Dhar

Trade ministers of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) met for their crucial sixth meeting in Singapore in end-August, in an effort to create by far the largest economic integration agreement. The joint media statement issued at the end of the ministerial meeting provides some key pointers to where the negotiations are headed. The statement mentions that the ministers exchanged views on the next steps toward the conclusion of negotiations and that they adopted a package of deliverables. Although the contents of the package are under wraps, the statement says that the ministers instructed their negotiators to…

Electronic Commerce and the WTO: The Changing Contours of Engagement Biswajit Dhar

Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) has emerged as a key issue in the run-up to the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in Buenos Aires in December 2017. A number of countries across the development spectrum have backed inclusion of e-commerce in the WTO. Although the nature of disciplines that these countries favour is not entirely clear, yet the proposals strongly suggest that they would prefer using e-commerce as a vehicle for trade liberalisation in goods and services. Electronic_Commerce _WTO  (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally posted in Madhyam.org.in on November…

Interpreting the World to Change it Essays for Prabhat Patnaik; edited by C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

February 2017 • 6.25 x 9.5 inches • (xvi+284) 300 pages • Hardback •  ISBN: 978-93-82381-93-8 •  Rs 850 Prabhat Patnaik’s academic insights and strong political commitment have stimulated intellectual activity and inspired personal regard across a multitude of people from all walks of life. This volume brings together contributions from some who have benefited from interaction with him over decades, in a tribute and continuing conversation. Prabhat Patnaik, born 19 September 1945 in Odisha, India, is one of the outstanding economists of his generation and a leading Marxist theoretician in the world today. Versatile in his knowledge and mastery…

Interpreting The World To Change It Essays For Prabhat Patnaik; Edited By  C.P. Chandrasekhar And Jayati Ghosh

India Concludes Bilateral Agreement with US, Agrees to an Indefinite ‘Peace Clause’ Biswajit Dhar

After months of impasse, India finally agreed to relent on its opposition to allow progress on the post-Bali work programme of the World Trade Organization (WTO), after concluding a “bilateral agreement” with the United States. According to the terms of the agreement, a mechanism will be in place under which WTO Members will not challenge India’s food security programmes under WTO dispute settlement procedures until a “permanent solution” regarding this issue has been agreed and adopted. In other words, India has agreed to an indefinite “peace clause”. The agreement further adds that elements for an intensified programme of work and…

World Trade Organisation Bigwigs Blocking Bid for a Balanced Deal Biswajit Dhar

Just when it had appeared that the World Trade Organization (WTO) was getting rid of a label put by its former Director General that the organization is incapable of taking decisions, this old failing has come back to haunt it once again. The decisions taken at the conclusion of the Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali to put in place a work programme for the organization came unstuck as the WTO was unable to make progress in a manner that would have satisfied a majority of the member countries. After the "Bali Package" was delivered, the WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo…

BRICS Gains Currency in Brazil Biswajit Dhar

The 6th Summit of the BRICS nations would be remembered as a watershed event in global economic governance because it marks the first time that emerging economies stepped out of the shadows of the big powers to establish two financial institutions, the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA). These institutions should be seen as counterparts of the Bretton Woods institutions—the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—not competitors, as some Western observers have likened them to. Another significant outcome of the Summit, one which was not as well highlighted as the establishment of the NDB…

Trade Liberalization and Agriculture: Challenges before India Biswajit Dhar and Murali Kallummal

The increasing economic integration of the Indian economy with global processes has brought considerable challenges at the door of its agricultural sector. These challenges have arisen from two broad sets of problems. In the first place, a number of major crops have been witnessing a decline in productivity growth, in particular over the past decade. Second, and perhaps more important from a short run perspective, is the fact that Indian agriculture faces unfair competition from cheap imports, which poses an enormous threat to the livelihoods of the farming communities. It is quite clear, therefore, that a comprehensive framework needs to…