CUTS CITEE in Action

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WTO Issues

WTO Law and International Emissions Trading: Is There Potential for Conflict?
In order to meet their emission reduction targets with minimum adverse effects on their economies, it is highly likely that UNFCCC Annex I governments will pursue emission reduction policies in such a way as to require of foreign products to mirror the “climate costs” of their production processes or to favour domestic “climate friendly” producers over foreign ones. Such treatments could occur in governing eligibility for participation in emissions trading or in the access to and amount of allocated tradable emission units.

The Trials of Winning at the WTO: What Lies Behind Brazil’s Success
This Article aims to advance our understanding of three sets of interrelated questions: who shapes international trade law through litigation and bargaining; how do they do so; and what broader effects do international trade law and judicialization have within a country. It Article builds from four years of empirical investigation of international trade dispute settlement and its impact in Brazil. Its point of entry is an examination of what lies behind Brazil’s ……… of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ………

Toward a More Effective WTO: The Role of Variable Geometry
Since the Uruguay Round, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has become an increasingly controversial institution. On the one hand, it has been assailed for having gone too far. Some critics, typically reflecting the concerns of many developing countries, claim that by making all of its members adopt agreements such as those relating to Trade Related Intellectual Property and Investment Measures (TRIPs and TRIMs), the WTO has strayed beyond its basic trade mission and forced many of its members to accept obligations that are ………

TRIPs: Present Status and Future Directions
Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is the first comprehensive and global set of rules, covering the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) such as, copyrights and related rights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs and lay out designs of integrated circuits, trade secrets, and plant varieties. Moreover, it provides the minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property rights, equally applicable to all member countries of the agreement. In this regard, there are two prominent treaties, such as, the Paris Convention (1883) for the protection of industrial property, and the Berne ………

Information Gaps, Information Systems, and the WTO’s Trade Policy Review Mechanism
Lack of information is a severe barrier to effective participation by developing countries in the international trade regime. Information systems in international regimes are the sets of institutions, actors and procedures involved in collecting, analysing and disseminating information about members’ actions and the regime’s effectiveness. The multilateral trade regime’s … This paper asks: how has the TPRM responded to the demands for information and transparency in the trade regime, particularly from the perspective of developing countries?

Regional Economic Cooperation

EU and U.S. Free Trade Agreements in the Middle East and North Africa
Free trade agreements between the West (U.S. and EU) and Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, while containing beneficial elements, have strengthened negative perceptions of “western-led globalization” because they benefit unpopular elites and impose serious short term economic adjustment, concludes Riad al Khouri, a Carnegie Middle East Center economist specializing in MENA countries. Examining the socio-economic and political effects of American and European trade agreements on Jordan, Morocco, and Egypt in EU ………

Effects of Free Trade Agreement on Indo-China Trade
Given the nature of huge trade inflows into the Indian market from the China this paper tries to shape up the possible effects that a free trade agreement between these trading giants will have. In addition to a general overview of how trading relation has gone about in the last decade we will try to magnify into the fact that whether the proposed FTA agreement between India and China will lead to any welfare gains for India or not.

The Impact of Economic Partnership Agreements in Countries of the Southern African Development Community
In the context of economic partnership agreements (EPAs) currently under negotiation between the European Union (EU) and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, trade is meant to be progressively liberalised in a reciprocal way as of 2008. EPAs are also intended to foster existing regional integration efforts among the ACP. This paper presents a computable general equilibrium model simulation of the impact of EPAs for countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Different liberalisation scenarios are compared. We find that EPAs with the EU are ………

Will the EU-Africa Economic Partnership Agreements Foster the Integration of African Countries into the Global Trading System?
New Economic Partnership Agreements were intended to replace the non-reciprocal EU-ACP trade relationship by 1 January 2008 in a bid to further the development of ACP countries under a WTO-compatible framework. African countries and regions failed to conclude any EPAs by that date due to scepticisms on the deeper trade implications of the EPAs and the non-implementation of the EPA preparatory ………. This paper sets out to examine the state of play of the EPA negotiations against the backdrop of the last-minute initialled Interim Agreements and their implication on the regional integration agenda of the African Economic Community (AEC).

Trade Facilitation in ASEAN Member Countries : Measuring Progress and Assessing Priorities
This paper reviews recent progress and indicators of trade facilitation in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The findings show that import and export costs vary considerably in the member countries, from very low to moderately high levels. Tariff and non-tariff barriers are generally low to moderate. Infrastructure quality and services sector ………. The authors find that trade flows in Southeast Asia are particularly sensitive to transport infrastructure and information and communications technology. The results suggest that the region stands to make significant economic gains from trade facilitation reform. These gains could be considerably larger ………

Developmental Issues

Standards and Agricultural Trade in Asia
In developing countries markets for agri-food products are changing at a pace that is unparalleled in modern history. Markets are increasingly open and increasingly homogenized toward international tastes and requirements for levels of quality, packaging, safety, and even process attributes such as socially or environmentally friendly methods. New distribution channels, dominated by larger firms including supermarket retailers, are imposing high performance demands on their value chains.

How Effective is European Commission Aid on the Ground?
In 2007, ODI undertook a project commissioned by the Committee on Development (CD) of the European Parliament (EP) to assess the effectiveness of international development assistance from the European Commission (EC). The project examined EC aid on the ground in three very different countries: Cambodia, Mozambique, and Peru (see Table 1). This Project Briefing highlights the main findings, lessons, and recommendations that emerged from the synthesis report prepared for the project.

The Impact of Remittances on Rural Poverty and Inequality in China
Large numbers of agricultural labor moved from the countryside to cities after the economic reforms in China. Migration and remittances play an important role in transforming the structure of rural household income. This paper examines the impact of rural-to-urban migration on rural poverty and inequality in the case of Hubei province using the data of a 2002 household survey. Since remittances are a potential substitute for farm income, the paper presents counterfactual scenarios of what rural income, poverty, and inequality would have been in the absence of migration.

Health Insurance in Low-Income Countries: Where is the Evidence that it Works?
All people have a right to health. In poor countries, the challenge is to finance systems that will deliver that right. After 20 years of one failed health financing mechanism – user fees – some actors in the international community are proposing that health insurance mechanisms will close health financing gaps and benefit poor people. This paper describes those mechanisms and their success or failure to deliver health rights particularly for people living in poverty. The paper shows that although health insurance can have a positive effect on access to health ………

Food Price Crisis: A Wake up Call for Food Sovereignty
Food prices have been increasing sharply since 2005. According to the World Bank, global food prices have climbed by 83% over the last three years. The real price of rice rose to a 19-year high in March 2008¯an increase of 50% in two weeks alone¯while the real price of wheat hit a 28-year high, triggering an international crisis. The increase in food prices is impacting the most vulnerable and the poor are particularly affected, as their diets rely on the very staples that are becoming scarce or too costly: cereal grains, cooking oil, and dairy.

Call for Publications

For experts publishing articles in South Asian newspapers/publications, civil society organisations, research institutes and academics, if you would like your publication’s abstract and weblink to distributed to CUTS International network (above 5,000 recipients all over the world) and added to the Economiquity e-newsletter, please forward such details via email to following address:

This e-newsletter is compiled by the CUTS CITEE team, CUTS International

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