The New Economist posts on economics bloggers in Indonesia: My blogroll: Indonesian econoblogs (July 26).
Did high tariffs after the Civil War give U.S. "infant industries" an opportunity to grow, and contribute to U.S. development? The questions are important, because many developing countries now justify high tariffs partly on an "infant industry" basis, and point to high 19th Century U.S. tariffs as a precedent. His research sheds some light on the impact in the U.S.:
If the world got rid of its cotton tariffs, and export and production subsidies for cotton, it would be better off. The Doha Round's "Cotton Initiative" could have a nice payoff.
Kym Anderson and Ernesto Valenzeula find that the world could be better off to the tune of about $280 million a year. (The World Trade Organization's Doha Cotton Initiative: A Tale of Two Issues, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3918, May 2006).
Cotton exporters tend to gain, cotton importers tend to lose. Several really poor countries in West Africa stand to gain a lot.
I don't think this: G-8 Leaders Give Lamy a Month for a New WTO Accord (Bloomberg, July 17):
Group of Eight leaders today called for a ``concerted effort'' to conclude five-year-old trade talks and gave World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy another month to suggest a way to reach an agreement.
...will do as much good as this: Blair leads call for France to cut back farm subsidies (Larry Elliott, The Guardian, July 17):
Tony Blair was last night seeking to orchestrate concerted European pressure to prod a reluctant France into bigger cuts in farm protection as stalled global trade talks entered a make-or-break two weeks.
With the G8 due to hold discussions with five leading developing countries in St Petersburg today, Downing Street sources said the prime minister was "singing from the same song sheet" as the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Italian prime minister, Romano Prodi, and the EU commissioner, Jose Barroso.
Heads of government from the world's eight leading industrial powers, in Russia will join their counterparts from Brazil, China, South Africa, Mexico and India tomorrow in an attempt to give momentum to the negotiations that started in Doha, Qatar in 2001. (Bloomberg story above)
The American delegation was led by Wendy Cutler from the USTR's office, the Korean delegation was led by Kim Jong-hoon of the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT). (This image is from a story on the Korean Embassy web site.) Everyone looks pretty happy here, but disagreements over the treatment of pharmaceuticals in the Korean national health care system caused problems.
This Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade press release describes the Korean delegation, and Korean preparations for the sessions: Launching of the Second Round of Korea-U.S. (KORUS) FTA Negotiations (July 7).
Before work started on Boston's "Big Dig," archeologists studied some key sites along the route. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich describes what they found in a 17th Century privy on a lot that used to front on a street called Ann Street, and what that says about about early Boston: Big Dig, Little Dig, Hidden Worlds: Boston (Common-place, July, 2003)
Ulrich's also got her hands on the the divorce records of the people who used the privy. Pretty lurid stuff.
Common-place is a well designed, and extremely interesting, on-line magazine about early American history. I learned about it from this post by Craig Depkin: Historians take on money (Division of Labour, July 7). Depkin's post highlights a Common-place special issue on money.
Revised July 14.
The second round of FTA negotiations between the U.S. and South Korea take place this week ("KORUS FTA" is the acronyn at the USTR web site).
Jon Herskovitz reports on the first day's negotiations: South Korea-U.S. hold free trade talks amid protests (Reuters via Washington Post, July 10)
The chief Korean negotiator is Ambassador Kim Jong-hoon and the Chief U.S. Negotiator is AUSTR for Japan and Korea, Wendy Cutler. The Korean Embassy contains lists of the key issues, and the key players on the two negotiating teams for each of the issues: Free Trade Agreement .
Christian Beckner, at Homeland Security Watch, describes and links to recent reports on port and transportation security in these two posts:
Beckner is especially enthusiastic about the 300 page PPIC report ("excellent," "authoritative," "a must-read for anyone who works on these issues").
The report has three main parts. Chapters 2 and 3 examine the potential economic consequences of a terrorist attack on a seaport, with the goal of establishing a baseline that allows informed risk assessment and resource allocation decisions. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 looks at best practices in port security, focusing on “how to seal the container supply chain, how to get the most out of billions of dollars worth of technology development, and how to prepare for emergency response in the case of a terrorist incident at a port.” Chapters 7 and 8 analyze the government response to the port security challenge to date, assessing programs on the basis of cost, effectiveness, clarity of authority, and financing.
The June issue of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) magazine, PERC Reports ("The Magazine of Free Market Environmentalism") is devoted to American Indians and property rights.
The PERC authors explore the role of property rights in historical American Indian life, and the implications of a property rights and local perspective for modern policy debates.
The U.S. and So. Korea are working on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The first round of negotiations was held in Washington in early June; the next begins July 10 in Seoul. The potential economic and political benefits are attractive for both countries (Are there large potential benefits from a U.S.-S. Korea FTA? , June 18).
Jeffrey J. Schott, Scott C. Bradford, and Thomas Moll provide a useful overview of the issues in their recent report: Negotiating the Korea–United States Free Trade Agreement (Institute of International Economics, June 2006).
They point out that one of the key issues is a So.Korea joint venture with No. Korea in an industrial park at Kaesong in No. Korea. This is an important project for the So. Koreans:
Apparently, at least for now, it's all up to Pascal Lamy. The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development published a special edition of its newsletter, "Bridges," today.
Here's their report on the plan for July:
What happened in Geneva last week? Here are some useful summaries.
This Crowell and Mohring "Doha Developments Update" for June 23 has a lot of detail on the preparations, and often optimistic speculation, just before the meeting.
Martin Khor looked at a possible scenario for the Geneva meeting, just before: "Sequencing the Ministerial" and Scenarios of the Stages it has to Clear (Third World Network, June 28. I found this very helpful.
This morning, the Third World Network has several other reports on the progress of the ministerial:
These reports have far more concrete detail than most news stories.
The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development has a special issue of "Bridges" out this morning, with an overview of events. The entire text is below the fold.
Alan Beattie explains The truth behind the top five trade myths and why it matters (Financial Times, July 1)
Myth number three:
At least some U.S. farm subsidies are decoupled from production decisions.
Dan Morgan, Gilbert M. Gaul and Sarah Cohen report in this morning's Washington Post: Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm:
Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. He is a 67-year-old asphalt contractor who wanted to build a dream house for his wife of 40 years.
Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual "direct payments," because years ago the land was used to grow rice.
Matthews is not alone. Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post....
Where do the Doha Round negotiations go now, following yesterday's collapse of the meeting of WTO member trade ministers in Geneva?
Peter Mandelson, the E.U. Trade Commissioner, doesn't think we've reached the end of the Doha Round, yet (WTO talks neither "success or disaster" - Mandelson, Rueters via NDTV Profit.com, July 2):
The host went all out, but the guests had nothing to talk about, and everybody went home early.
Paul Blustein sums it up for Sunday's Washington Post: Trade Ministers Give Up on Compromise. Geneva Conference Collapses Over Agricultural Tariffs and Subsidies. (July 2):