News & Commentary:

May 2002 Archives


Crisis in the Middle East
Foreign Affairs May 2002
Perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is more important than ever. Foreign Affairs is making available the full text, a selection of new and previously published articles on the interests, goals, and political dynamics on all sides, as well as the history of the two parties' recent interactions and American involvement in the region. As a package, the articles help explain how things have gotten to this point and where the situation might go from here.

Finance and Development
IMF Mar/May 2002
Main theme is the shape of global integration. In addition to an overview on the challenges of globalization by IMF Deputy Managing Director Eduardo Aninat and a debate between Kevin Watkins of Oxfam and two World Bank economists on the impact of globalization on the poor, there are articles on financial globalization, financial stability in the world of global finance, the impact of G-3 exchange rate volatility on developing countries, September 11 and the U.S. payment system, the economic implications of global warming, the international develoment goal of universal primary education for all children by 2015, AIDS as part of the global development agenda, and the silent revolution of the 1980s. Other articles deal with southeastern Europe after the Kosovo Crisis and the institutions developing countries need to support their fledgling market economies. Introduction of a new feature that will appear in every issue, a column by Kenneth Rogoff.

Japan's economy shows timid shoots of growth
FT May 1, 2002
Japan's economy showed further signs of strengthening in March, according to new industrial production data, prompting Japan's central bank to upgrade its economic forecast and leave its super-loose monetary policy unchanged.

Global: Three Cheers for a Weak US Dollar
Joe Quinlan/Rebecca McCaughrin (MSDW) May 1, 2002
As the US dollar becomes more unloved with each passing day, investors are growing increasingly nervous about a dollar correction or worse still, a dollar collapse. The main fear is that a steep and sudden depreciation of the greenback could trigger a rush to the exits among foreign investors in US securities and precipitate a spike in US interest rates and a swoon in US financial markets.

O'Neil rejects calls to weaken the dollar
May 2, 2002
Paul O'Neill, US Treasury secretary, has rejected growing calls from manufacturers for political intervention to weaken the dollar, saying that such efforts would likely backfire and hurt the US economy.

Global: US Portfolio Flows Update -- Precarious Underpinnings
Joe Quinlan/Rebecca McCaughrin (MSDW) May 2, 2002
Commenting on the paltry level of US portfolio inflows in January, we were quick to remind our readers that one month hardly makes a trend. Neither do two months, for that matter. Yet, there is nascent evidence that foreign investor appetite for US securities is not what it used to be. Case in point: while foreign investors snapped up nearly $100 billion in US financial assets in the first two months of 2001, the total in the first two months of this year was just $26.7 billion. Portfolio inflows in February totaled just $15.4 billion, up from $11.3 billion in January. Demand was weak across most assets, with the exception of agency bonds. Foreign purchases of agencies rose to $6.2 billion in February from $3.9 billion the prior month.

Trade, Civil Society Decision-Makers Convene At WTO Symposium
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 16 May 2, 2002
From 29 April to 1 May, close to 700 participants from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia and the media met for a public symposium organised by the WTO Secretariat on "The Doha Development Agenda and Beyond". According to various sources, non-governmental organisation (NGO) participants generally welcomed the symposium as an appropriate venue to interact amongst themselves as well as with trade policymakers and other stakeholders.

Observership, Market Access Stall At TNC
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 16 May 2, 2002
WTO Members meeting at a 24 April session of the WTO's Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) were unable to solve an impasse over the thorny question of who can qualify as an observer in the WTO's negotiating bodies. Ongoing political disagreements centre around whether or not the Arab League can gain observer status at the trade body. Members were also unable to agree on a deadline to determine modalities on negotiations in non-agricultural market access.

Committee on Trade and Development Meets With Ambitious Agenda
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 16 May 2, 2002
Convening near the end of 'Geneva Week' -- whereby Members and observers without permanent missions in Geneva attend a series of WTO meetings (see related WTO In Brief, this issue) -- the WTO Committee on Trade and Development met for its second session of the year on 25 April 2002. Delegates faced a demanding agenda, looking at a number of technical assistance-related items, including the WTO's annual technical assistance plan, the organisation's March 2002 pledging conference, and an audit on technical cooperation in 2001. Further agenda items included a discussion on the review of Art. XVIII of GATT 1994 (concerning the need for additional flexibilities for developing countries), paragraph 51 of the Doha mandate (dealing with developmental and environmental aspects of the negotiations), and the election of the chair for the Sub-Committee for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).\

Members Focus On Technical Assistance At WTO Competition Policy Talks
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 16 May 2, 2002
At the first substantive post-Doha session of the WTO's Working Group on the Interaction Between Trade and Competition Policy on 23-24 April, delegates focused primarily on technical assistance and capacity building issues. According to trade sources, some Members emphasised the importance of knowing what form such assistance might take as well as a need to focus on the implications of closer multilateral cooperation for their development policies and objectives as laid out in paragraph 24 of the Doha Ministerial Declaration.

Dumping on the Dollar
WSJ May 3, 2002
Big business dumps on the dollar.

Accounting for Options   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Joseph E. Stiglitz (WSJ) May 3, 2002
We need to restore faith in company balance sheets.

Jump in unemployment drives down shares and dollar
FT May 4, 2002
News of a surprise sharp rise in unemployment in the US drove the dollar and equities lower, capping a difficult and uncertain week for the US currency.

Who really pays to help U.S. farmers?
IHT May 6, 2002
Of all the problems that plague the world's poor in the age of globalization, few are so widely condemned as the subsidies that rich countries provide their farmers.

Rules Negotiations: 'Friends of Fish' Call For Altering Subsidies Disciplines
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 17 May 7, 2002
At the second formal meeting of the WTO Negotiating Group on Rules on 6 May, WTO Members discussed a joint communication tabled by New Zealand and other fish exporting countries that aimed to tackle developmentally and ecologically harmful fisheries subsidies. On 7 May the Group discussed a range of communications tabled by Members on various antidumping and general subsidies issues.

Canada To Review ITC Ruling And Indigenous Brief In Lumber Dispute
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 17 May 7, 2002
Canada indicated last week that it would conduct a review of a 2 May decision by the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which ruled that US industry "is threatened with material injury" by subsidised softwood lumber imported from Canada and sold in the US "at less than fair value". Canada is also expected this week to comment on the "amicus curiae" brief submitted by the Interior Alliance, a grouping of Canadian First Nations peoples, to the WTO panel that is currently considering a Canadian complaint against US duties on softwood lumber.

WTO Members Move Closer On Procedure For Trade and Environment Negotiations
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 17 May 7, 2002
At a brief meeting on 3 May, the special (negotiating) session of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) met in informal mode in an attempt to move forward on procedural areas in advance of the next formal special session in mid-June. In what was deemed by some Members as a "positive" session, some rapprochement was made on the question of observer status, phases of work, and on number of meetings to be held this year.

Little Movement On Labelling At Biosafety Meeting
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 17 May 7, 2002
Delegates at the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (ICCP-3) on 22-26 April in The Hague, The Netherlands, made little progress regarding documentation requirements for shipments of living modified organisms (LMOs), largely revisiting the debates that had taken place during the negotiations of the Protocol and at ICCP-2 in December 2000.

Argentina admits that time is running out
FT May 8, 2002
The Argentine government appears determined to modify controversial business laws and refine a bank rescue package in an effort to secure desperately needed fresh aid from the International Monetary Fund.

Searching for Growth in Shanghai
Stephen Roach (MSDW) May 10, 2002
If you’re searching for growth in a sluggish global economy, look no further than Shanghai. I was last here 13 months ago, and it’s hard to fathom the difference. Let me assure you, there’s far more to this story than more than a decade of explosive construction activity. Shanghai seems to be coming of age as a mature, cosmopolitan mega-city -- not just China’s financial capital but increasingly the hub of Asia. Significantly, Shanghai is not an isolated example -- it could well be a prototype for much that awaits the New China.

Global Village Idiocy
Thomas Friedman (NYT) May 12, 2002
If there's one thing I learned from this trip to Israel, Jordan, Dubai and Indonesia, it's this: thanks to the Internet and satellite TV, the world is being wired together technologically, but not socially, politically or culturally. We are now seeing and hearing one another faster and better, but with no corresponding improvement in our ability to learn from, or understand, one another. So integration, at this stage, is producing more anger than anything else. As the writer George Packer recently noted in The Times Magazine, "In some ways, global satellite TV and Internet access have actually made the world a less understanding, less tolerant place."

ADB's delegates keep one eye on China
FT May 13, 2002
The Asian Development Bank's annual meeting, which concluded in Shanghai on Sunday, was packed with back-to-back seminars on worthy subjects such as regional co-operation, poverty alleviation and corporate governance.But for most of the 3,300 delegates who attended the meeting there was only one issue: China. Would the country's economic resurgence be more of an opportunity or a threat?

A virulent new strain of crisis   Recommended!
Moisés Naím (FT) May 13, 2002
Political contagion may be to this decade what financial contagion was to the 1980s.

We Can Feed the World. Here's How.   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Norman Borlaug (WSJ) May 13, 2002
We don't have to sacrifice wilderness for food.

World Law or Institutionalized Hypocrisy?   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Robert L. Bartley (WSJ) May 13, 2002
The International Criminal Court won't give us justice.

Farm trade   Recommended!
Economist May 13, 2002
President George Bush has signed the new farm bill which Congress approved last week and which provides for a huge increase in financial support for American farmers. But this could wreck the chances of liberalising agricultural trade around the world, and it has called into question America’s support for free trade in general.

In hot housing markets, signs of overheating
IHT May 14, 2002
Emboldened by low borrowing costs and disillusioned with the stock market, eager home have helped arrest a downturn in the global economy.

WTO Updates Info Dissemination, Discusses Internal Transparency
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 18 May 15, 2002
At a 13-14 May meeting of the WTO General Council, Members reached an agreement to reduce the waiting time for release of restricted WTO documents. A paper submitted by India and a number of other developing countries on transparency in preparing Ministerial Conferences was also addressed, and Members approved the date and location of the WTO's Fifth Ministerial Conference, now scheduled to be held in Cancun, Mexico on 10-14 September 2003.

New US Farm Bill Upsets WTO Partners, Could Hurt Developing Countries   Recommended!
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 18 May 15, 2002
A new US farm bill signed into law by US President George W. Bush on 13 May has met with severe disapproval by a number of the country's trading partners. Mercosur -- the largest trading bloc of agricultural exporting countries in Latin America -- is considering a challenge at the WTO of the US legislation, which is estimated to increase subsidies to the agricultural sector by 80 percent to the tune of at least $US82 billion over the next decade. Other WTO Members and US government officials have also highlighted possible inconsistencies between the bill and the US' obligations under WTO rules. The bill comes at a time when the US is under increasing criticism for its trade policies, most notably its recent decision to impose tariffs on steel imports of up to 30 percent.

Implementation Issues Facing First Tests As Deadlines Quickly Approach
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 18 May 15, 2002
With a number of implementation issues facing mid-year and end-of-year deadlines, various regular and special session committees have been working steadfastly since the adoption of the Doha work programme last November. Coming together in both formal and informal sessions, Members have been attempting to gain ground on meeting the Doha work programme, whose scope of activities vary from reporting to the General Council on the state of the discussions, to reporting with "clear recommendations for a decision". Some items that have seen airtime in recent weeks include antidumping, textiles, and special and differential treatment.

Test of good government
FT May 16, 2002
Tony Blair warmly endorsed membership of the euro on Wednesday. But Gordon Brown is determined to keep the decision on joining to himself. Whether or not the chancellor or his aides strong-armed the Commons Treasury select committee into delaying an examination of his five economic tests, the lack of scrutiny does him, the government and parliament a disservice.

High Tariffs Hurt Asia's Poor   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Greg Rushford (AWSJ) May 16, 2002
Cambodia and Bangladesh pay more than Singapore or France because of U.S. import duties that favor the rich.

Good politics are local
Simon Chesterman (IHT) May 17, 2002
The watchword for the UN mission in Afghanistan is "light footprint." Trying to minimize the foreign presence and maximize the Afghan role in rebuilding the country is good politics.

Both Sides Now   Recommended!
Robert Wright (Slate) May 17, 2002
Nearly 300 million people live in America, and about 6 million people live in Israel proper. So when 15 Israelis were killed in a pool-hall bombing last week, that felt to Israelis roughly the way it would feel for 50 times that many American civilians-750-to die in a single bombing.

Washington under fire for 'damaging' trade curbs   Recommended!
FT May 17, 2002
The heads of the world's three main multilateral economic institutions have joined forces to condemn rising US protectionism, saying it harmed global growth and set back economic reform and open markets. The unprecedented display of disapproval came in a joint statement by Horst Köhler of the International Monetary Fund, Mike Moore of the World Trade Organisation, and James Wolfensohn of the World Bank.

Trading up
Vincent Boland (FT) May 17, 2002
Will a possible merger between Instinet and Island will trigger a long-awaited consolidation among the world's stock exchanges?

Is Argentina Repaying Its Loans?   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Mary Anastasia O'Grady (WSJ) May 17, 2002
A simple question the World Bank can't answer.

Britain and the euro
Economist May 17, 2002
One of Britain’s longest-running political debates got an extra fillip from Tony Blair’s declaration, in a television interview this week, that he would be happy to go down in history as the prime minister who took Britain into the euro. Mr Blair said a decision was getting close-an observation which took many by surprise.

WTO, World Bank, and IMF chiefs warn against rich-country protectionism
WTO May 17, 2002
The heads of the WTO, World Bank and International Monetary Fund on 16 May 2002 urged OECD ministers to give impetus to the Doha agenda negotiations, and warned that increased protectionism in the world's leading economies would undermine developing countries' efforts to reform through more open economies.

The Last Sociologist
Orlando PAtterson (NYT) May 19, 2002
The dishonoring of David Riesman, and the tradition of sociology for which he stood, is a sign of the decline of a discipline that used to think big.

Who pays the piper?   Financial Times Subscription Required
Peter Martin (FT) May 20, 2002
For over a century, investment banking has been an exercise in juggling - and sometimes exploiting - conflicts of interest.

Keep the Dollar Strong   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Arthur B. Laffer (WSJ) May 20, 2002
What the economy needs is tight money and tax cuts.

Global: Global Rebalancing   Recommended!
Stephen Roach (MSDW) May 20, 2002
In 2001, America’s current account deficit (-$417 billion) was nearly twice the aggregate surpluses recorded by the rest of the so-called advanced economies in the world ($231 billion). This is the legacy of a decade of unbalanced growth in the global economy. History, to say nothing of economics, tells us this trend is unsustainable. The coming US current account adjustment points to a global rebalancing that will put the world economy in a far healthier state.

Britain and the euro
Economist May 20, 2002
Speculation about whether, and when, Britain might join the euro is rife, following a television interview given by Tony Blair, the prime minister. Those keen to see Britain go in have eagerly seized on Mr Blair's comment that a decision was close.

Poverty causes terror? Either way, aid works   Recommended!
Sebastian Mallaby (IHT) May 21, 2002
Since the September attacks, there's been a new assault on poverty. The world's leaders launched trade talks to help poor nations export their way to prosperity; the British government pushed for a doubling in annual aid flows; President George W. Bush promised the largest increase in U.S. bilateral assistance in recent memory. Now along comes Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist. Terror and poverty, says Krueger, are linked indirectly if at all.

Following God Abroad
Nicholas D. Kristof (NYT) May 21, 2002
There is a broad new trend that is beginning to reshape American foreign policy: America's evangelicals have become the newest internationalists.

Who's to Blame for Bubble Mania?   Wall Street Journal Subscription Required
Holman W. Jenkins Jr. (WSJ) May 22, 2002
Investors aren't entitled to implausible, unprecedented returns.

"Development" Still Stuck On Procedure -- Substance Slowly Emerging
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 19 May 22, 2002
With ten weeks left before the reporting deadline ascribed to it in Doha, the Committee on Trade and Development's (CTD) special session on special and differential treatment (S&D) met for the third time on 16 May. Under the weight of a heavy agenda -- the floor being open for proposed amendments to S&D language in 7 different WTO agreements -- discussions snagged once again on the procedural item of whether the session was in fact a 'negotiating' body or not.

DSU: Members Discuss 'Sequencing' And Selection Of Panellists
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 19 May 22, 2002
At the second special (negotiating) session of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) convening on 21 May, Members discussed a new proposal put forward by a group of 14 countries suggesting reforms of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) to settle the so- called 'sequencing' issue as well as procedures to effect withdrawal of retaliatory action once its underlying WTO ruling has been correctly implemented. Based on a list of questions prepared by India on several points raised in an earlier EC proposal, the DSB further addressed the issue of reforming the selection process of WTO panellists.

World Summit Heading Towards Acrimony And Minimalism As Last Prep Begins
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 19 May 22, 2002
In lead-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the fourth and final preparatory meeting (PrepCom IV) will take place in Bali, Indonesia on 27 May to 7 June. Also taking in three days of informal discussions prior to the scheduled meeting, delegates will debate the latest proposed draft text, put forward by PrepCom Chair Emil Salim earlier this month. In the ongoing debates around the Summit process, the draft text has been widely criticised by civil society groups, which have called on governments to show the political leadership necessary to develop a strong action plan.

TRIPs Council Sets Agenda For June Meeting
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 19 May 22, 2002
In what was described as a largely procedural meeting, the 17 May informal meeting of the WTO Council on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) discussed the agenda for the upcoming TRIPs Council meeting on 25-27 June and the special (negotiating) session on 28 June. During this latter special session, Members will continue their negotiations on the establishment of a multilateral system of notification and registration of geographical indications for wines and spirits.

Proposed Amendments Make Farce Out Of US Trade Promotion Authority Bill
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 19 May 22, 2002
In a beleaguered effort to give US President George W. Bush Trade Promotion Authority (formerly 'fast-track'), the Senate backed an amendment that would allow Congress to veto specific provisions of trade pacts if they changed anti-dumping and other laws designed to protect US producers from unfair trade practices. The proposal put forward by Democrat Senator Mark Dayton of Minnesota and Republican Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho was approved despite opposition and veto threats from the White House. The Senate also approved an amendment towards reciprocity in textile trade negotiations and extended a program giving lower tariffs for goods from the South American countries of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Despite Internal Trade Spats, OECD Members Advocate Free Trade
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest - Vol. 6, Number 19 May 22, 2002
Convening for the annual Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Council at Ministerial Level held in Paris, France, on 15-16 May, member states reiterated their commitment to "reject the use of protectionism" and to "make significant progress on all elements agreed in Doha" where WTO Members had launched a new round of trade talks last November. The annual OECD ministerial meeting, however, was overshadowed by continued disagreements between the US and its trading partners on US steel safeguards and the new US farm bill. In order to prevent these "storm clouds…hanging over the multilateral trading system" from putting the new global trade round at risk, WTO Director-General Mike Moore together with representatives of the other Bretton Woods institutions called on OECD members to "move beyond rhetoric" and to "firmly resist protectionism".

World Bank chief urges Vietnam reforms
FT May 24, 2002
Nicholas Stern, chief economist of the World Bank, urged Vietnam's Communist authorities to cut red tape and accelerate the reform of state-owned enterprises.

America the Scofflaw
Paul Krugman (NYT) May 24, 2002
In sheer economic terms, the steel tariff is not that big a deal. But it demonstrates an unprecedented contempt for international rules.

Currency markets   Recommended!
Economist May 24, 2002
Fears of a war between India and Pakistan, along with new warnings about terrorist attacks on America, have given the world’s financial markets a collective attack of nerves. The world’s big currencies have suddenly grown more volatile and at least one central bank has intervened to try to calm the markets. But could the latest uncertainty also signal the long-predicted decline of the dollar?

World trade
Economist May 24, 2002
The American Senate has voted in favour of giving President George Bush authority to negotiate trade agreements with other countries, raising hopes of progress on liberalising world trade. But Mr Bush and America’s trading partners still have plenty to worry about.

Common Ground   Recommended!
Stephen Roach and Richard Berner (MSDW) May 24, 2002
Debate has long been a hallmark of Morgan Stanley’s macro research culture. True to form, over most of the past five months, Dick Berner and Steve Roach have taken opposing views of the cyclical outlook for the US economy. Steve is still a "double dipper" -- perhaps the last of this dying breed. Dick, on the other hand, has been -- and continues to be -- a leading advocate of a much more vigorous economic prognosis for the United States. There is a certain irony to this sharp difference of opinions. Dick and Steve have known each other for close to 30 years, and have worked together -- at the Federal Reserve, Morgan Guaranty Trust Co., and Morgan Stanley -- for much of that time. Over most of that period, they have stood shoulder to shoulder on the economic outlook. In early 2001, for example, they were among the first on Wall Street to embrace a recession call for the US economy. Steve has essentially stayed with this call in the form of the double dip, whereas Dick has moved on to cyclical revival.

To Build a Country, Build a Schoolhouse   Recommended!
Amartya Sen (NYT) May 27, 2002
One of the most important goals has been identified by the United Nations: universal primary education by 2015.

World trade
Economist May 27, 2002
The American Senate has voted in favour of giving President George Bush authority to negotiate trade agreements with other countries, raising hopes of progress on liberalising world trade. But Mr Bush and America’s trading partners still have plenty to worry about.

NATO Welcomes Russia as Junior Partner
NYT May 28, 2002
NATO allies welcomed Russia today, giving the country increased, though still limited, authority in the alliance set up more than a half century ago for the Cold War containment of Moscow.

WTO Goods Council Starts On Trade Facilitation Mandate; Textiles Coming Up Short
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 20 May 28, 2002
The WTO's Council for Trade in Goods (CTG) met on 23 and 24 May, where it discussed, inter alia, the work programme on trade facilitation (specifically Article X of GATT 1994), the implementation-related items on the textiles agreement, and the relevant preparations, in connection with paragraph 18 of China's Protocol of Accession, for the review of China's trade policies.

Agriculture, Peace, And Expansion Dominate COMESA Heads of State Summit
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 20 May 28, 2002
Leaders from nine African states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 23 and 24 May for the seventh Heads of State Summit. The theme of the summit was "promoting trade and investment" in the COMESA's nine-state Free Trade Area (FTA). Discussion topics included, inter alia, a fund for recovering losses resulting from participation in the trade bloc, food security concerns, peace in the region, as well as the expansion of the FTA.

'US Steel' Dispute Panel To Convene 3 June As Dispute Requests Increase
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 20 May 28, 2002
The EC announced at a 22 May meeting of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) that it would call for the establishment of a dispute panel to examine the steel safeguard tariffs imposed by the US on a range of steel imports at a special 3 June DSB session. Furthermore, Japan, Korea, and China are likely to join the steel dispute at the 3 June meeting should the US pass on its right to block these first panel requests. Also at the 22 May session, the US could not veto a second request for a panel against it in a dispute with Japan on certain US antidumping measures. In return, however, it initiated the establishment of a dispute panel against Japan on apple imports. Finally, in another dispute involving the US, India asked the DSB to establish a panel in regards to textile matters -- a second request that could be warded off again by the US.

Least Developed Country Agenda Gets Underway
BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 6, Number 20 May 28, 2002
The 28th session of the WTO's Sub-Committee on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) met on 24 May to discuss, inter alia, enhancing the participation of LDCs in the multilateral trading system (MTS), the activities of the International Trade Centre vis-à-vis LDC trade diversification, technical assistance and the Integrated Framework, market access, and accession.

East Asia has cause for confidence
Philip Bowring (IHT) May 29, 2002
Clouds from the Asian crisis linger, Japan's stagnation remains intractable, China's success is flawed, Indonesia wears its ailments on its sleeve. But, all things considered, East Asia is again looking to be the most promising place on the planet. Politically it has the least immediate problems and economically it has regained much of the promise lost by the 1990s boom and bust.

Euro hits new high as rebound gains speed
IHT May 30, 2002
A series of upbeat reports show that the European economy is gaining strength, helping to lift the euro to a 14-month high against the dollar Wednesday and sparking concern over looming interest-rate increases.

The Most Dangerous Place in the World
Salman Rushdie (NYT) May 30, 2002
The risk of a nuclear battle between India and Pakistan, however improbable, makes Kashmir everybody's problem.

Development Dimension of Trade Facilitation Cited
WTO May 30, 2002
WTO Deputy Director-General Andrew Stoler, in a speech at the International Forum on Trade Facilitation in Geneva on 30 May 2002, said simplification of customs procedures can help achieve development goals through cutting costs and raising revenues.

Exchange-rate regimes   Recommended!
Economist May 30, 2002
Five months after the collapse of Argentina s ten-year-old currency board, and the subsequent plunge in the value of the peso, the country has at last taken an important step towards restoring economic stability, by repealing a much-criticised banking law. But Argentina s painful experience remains a warning for emerging-market economies struggling to choose the right exchange-rate regime.

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