Articles on WTO

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Despite assurances from Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, the TPP could negatively affect Australian health policy. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Leaked TPP investment chapter shows risks to Australia’s health

The latest part of the TPP to be leaked is its investment chapter. And like almost everything we know about the secretive negotiations for the agreement, it provides plenty of cause for concern.
A trade spat between India and the US was the most serious threat to the WTO in years. Reuters

Why the WTO still matters

Despite sluggishness in the world economy, global trade reached an astonishing US$23 trillion last year. The World Trade Organization has been the primary guarantor of this extraordinary growth in global…
A green trade deal would encourage the development of renewable energy in big carbon emitters such as China. Kaj17/Flickr

Trans-Pacific Partnership threatens a green trade deal

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
Australia’s approach to trade policy is more thoughtful and calculating than it is given credit for by sections of the media, academia and the public who object to current negotiations. AAP/Newzulu/Jeff Tan

Staying engaged on every front: Australia’s trade policy strategy

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. This is the first article in the…
The WTO negotiations have been plagued with irreconcilable differences from the start. Made Nagi/AAP

WTO struggles across the line in new era of policy malaise

The WTO Multilateral Trade Negotiations in Bali almost failed. By negotiating for one day beyond the scheduled conference time, 159 exhausted nations finally concluded an agreement. What’s at stake are…
New rules on hoarding will help fight hunger in India. rajkumar1220

WTO Bali deal offers more symbolism than substance

The recent World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Bali concluded on Saturday morning with an agreement on what is being termed the “Bali package”. So it seems there is still life in the WTO yet. Director…
Bali: no smoke grenades in sight. Tanti Ruwani

Even protesters don’t bother with the WTO these days

Politicians from around the world are gathering in Bali for the ninth World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting. The atmosphere is likely to be a far cry from that of the big meetings in the late…
What is the best trade option for Australia’s future? AAP/Alex Ibanez

Multilateral, regional, bilateral: which agreement is best?

One of the first acts of Tony Abbott’s government was to declare it intended to “embrace free trade” in its first term in office. Calling the trade minister Australia’s “ambassador for jobs”, the Coalition…
Australia has embraced clean technology, but if we want to make a big difference we should free up clean tech trade. Espen Klem

Want a big idea? Let’s lead the world and free up clean tech trade

In 2014, Australia will host the G20 Summit. The Prime Minister’s Office has been canvassing privately for a Big Idea to present, something to take the green debate forward and put Australia’s stamp on…
The tobacco industry has stated publicly that it’s helping countries bring claims against Australia’s tobacco plain packaging law. LUKAS COCH/AAP

Australia’s plain tobacco packaging law at the WTO

Earlier this month, Cuba became the fourth country to challenge Australia’s plain tobacco packaging law by requesting consultations with Australia through the World Trade Organization (WTO). Tobacco companies…
The government has launched several inquiries into patent law and pharmaceutical drugs. Daniel Weir

Julia Gillard, Big Pharma, patent law and public health

It takes a lot of bravery for governments to stand up to big business. But the Gillard government has shown a lot of guts during its tenure. It stood up to Big Tobacco in the battle over plain packaging…
Drug prices reduce dramatically when large multinationals’ monopoly is broken. m.p.3./Flickr

Big Pharma in legal battles for monopoly prices in India

Two large multinational pharmaceutical companies are fighting for patents and monopoly pricing in Indian courts. The outcomes of the cases – involving Novartis and Bayer – are likely to determine the country’s…
A Greens/EFA MEPs protest against ACTA at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The protestors urged their fellow members to join them in standing up for democracy and a free internet. ©Photo European Union

Opening Pandora’s box: secret treaty threatens human rights

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) 2011 - Twitter hashtag #ACTA - is a controversial trade agreement designed to provide for stronger enforcement of intellectual property rights. There’s been…
Gillard made ground with Pacific leaders at the APEC summit, but Australia has much work left to do. AAP

Is Australia truly ready for the Asian century?

Australia’s future is clearly linked to the dynamism of North Asia and Indonesia, Vietnam and other economies in the region. Yet many significant challenges confront Australia in realising the promised…
Can trade regulation enhance - or block - improvements to animal welfare? AAP

Can the WTO overturn our Indonesian live animal export ban?

The suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia will also have significant implications on Australian cattle farmers, Australian and Indonesian domestic markets, and on the trade relationship between…

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