By Tom Rachman and Dan Bilefsky, International Herald Tribune
The European Union is planning a broad shift in its trade policy that will no longer focus chiefly on foreign tariffs that drive up the price of EU products, but also seek to remove more subtle obstacles that block European businesses from getting a foothold overseas, particularly in China.
The call to end protectionism at home is likely to lead to some rumblings within Europe, but the announcement really set off alarm bells among those seeking to protect the rights of people in developing countries.
Free trade agreements mooted between the European Union (EU) and several African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries could destroy the economies of poor countries, development agency Oxfam has warned.
Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez is stepping up efforts to work out a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the US even as various trade-union groups are stepping up their opposition to such a deal and as the president's political popularity slides.
For Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the future of the Filipino people has a very cheap price. So cheap that she has opted to sell it to Japan by further opening up the local economy in exchange for the annual deployment of
Despite the expected challenges, Seoul will push for certain exemptions over sensitive agricultural products during the upcoming third round of free trade agreement talks with Washington, the Korean government said.
The recently-signed trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) between the US and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will sooner or later lead to a free trade agreement (FTA), and this will prove disastrous to the vulnerable sectors of the region, according to independent think-tank IBON Foundation.
"Regardless of fierce nation-wide protests, I will dedicate my remaining time in office to realizing the FTA." These words encapsulate the attitude that has seen South Korean President Roh Mu-Hyun and his government become increasingly defensive and isolated in power.
In the wake of the collapse of the Doha talks in the World Trade Organization (WTO), negotiations for the country to enter into an Asia-Pacific free trade agreement (FTA) have become more urgent for industrialized countries. But independent think-tank IBON Foundation warns that entering into an FTA could be even more dangerous than liberalization under the WTO.