Archive for February, 2009

Obama’s Latest Free Trader

Friday, February 27th, 2009

John Nichols reports today on his blog at thenation.com that Obama’s latest pick for Secretary of Commerce – former Washington Governor Gary Locke – is a committed free-trader. Nichols says: Locke has long been one of the Democratic Party’s most ardent advocates for free trade agreements that get high marks from multinational corporations but are [...]

Sydney Event: “Economics for Ordinary Folk” – March 28

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

A plug for friendly Sydney-based NGOs AFTINET and AID/WATCH, which are co-hosting “Economics for Ordinary Folk”, a 1 day workshop aimed at skilling-up participants on economics and the impact of orthodox economic theories on the peoples of the world, particularly the majority world. It’s aimed at people who are concerned about issues of social justice [...]

Food for the future

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Well worth a look (or a listen, if you download the podcast) is ABC’s Background Briefing from last week – entitled “Food for the Future”.  Global Trade Watch contributed some statistics and opinions to the program. Reporter Bronwyn Herbert uses the program to examine some of the issues around the global food trade, and the [...]

The most amazing statistics on Development you’ve ever seen….

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Two absolutely fantastic short talks from Hans Rosling, A professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. The first talk is here (2006), the second one is here (2007). They were given at successive years of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in California. What stuck with me most after watching them was that changes [...]

WTO: The round that “no one knows how to end”

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

For those interested in what is going on at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) while the financial crisis is hogging all the headline space in the business pages, the answer is: not a lot. But the Third World Network published an interesting historical analysis of the so-called “Doha Development Round” a couple of weeks ago. [...]

Why is Australia still importing illegally-logged timber?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Yesterday’s edition of Melbourne’s The Age newspaper had a worrying article about the influence of extreme pro-free-trade bureaucrats in derailing new laws aimed at restricting illegal timber imports into Australia. Apparently the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been trying to undermine the Rudd Government’s election [...]

Australia-US FTA still a drain on Australia’s economy

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Martin Feil kicks another goal in The Age today with an excellent article assessing the economic impact of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) four years after it took affect on 1 January 2005. As the Parliamentary Library noted in December, the AUSFTA has increased Australia’s merchandise imports from the US and reduced our exports, [...]

Wrap-Up from the World Social Forum

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

The World Social Forum finished up in Belem, Brazil last week.  If you don’t know much about it, the WSF was started in January 2001 as a stark alternative and counterpoint to the World Economic Forum – an annual meeting of CEOs of the biggest corporations and the most powerful governments in the Swiss town [...]

Ideas for the G20′s agenda on the Global Economic Crisis

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

In April, the leaders of the G20 group of countries will meet again in London to discuss responses to the global economic/financial crisis which is still unravelling.  Dani Rodrik’s Blog links to an interesting new initiative: the Global Crisis Debate – a partnership between the VoxEU website and the UK government aimed at generating ideas [...]