Trade Wars

Venezuela’s Mercosur Entry Sparks Dissension

By simultaneously admitting Venezuela into its fold and suspending Paraguay’s membership, Mercosur has sparked dissension within the trading bloc that threatens the future legal architecture of the Southern Common Market. 

Greek, French Elections Sound Death Knell for Austerity

The voting out of conservative governments in France and Greece this weekend heralds the end of harsh European austerity programmes and ushers in an era of new economic, investment, and social policies aimed at restoring growth and employment across the continent.

Corporations Win Big in Battle Against Investment Regulation

In a world where governments are increasingly subservient to global finance capital, multinationals are gaining ground in the fight against state regulations that aim to protect the environment, public health or social policies.

Activists for Taiwan’s National Food Safety Alliance call for a ban on ractopamine-laced U.S. beef.  Credit: Dennis Engbarth/IPS.

American Beef on the Political Grill

Taiwanese civic activists and opposition parties are persisting in efforts to block imports of high-risk American beef even though the ruling rightist Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) legislative majority narrowly defeated a push by opposition legislators Apr. 27 to suspend imports of American beef products.

Greeks Gear Up to Cast ‘Protest Votes’ Against Austerity

Aggeliki Anagnostopoulou (30) sits in a corner of the huge room that volunteers from the new party, Independent Greeks, are using as a headquarters for their pre-election campaign in the lead up to polling day on May 6.

Laos’ Herculean Effort to Join the WTO

After almost a decade of major economic transformation, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic is on the brink of World Trade Organisation (WTO) membership.

India Serves Up Costly Cocktail of Vaccines

Ignoring widespread concern over the safety, efficacy and cost of pentavalent vaccines, India’s central health ministry has, this month, approved inclusion of the prophylactic cocktail in the universal immunisation programme in seven of its provinces.

About 60 percent of Kenya’s power is hydroelectric, however, the supply is unsteady.  Credit: Isaiah Esipisu/IPS

Kenya “Becoming Economic Heartbeat of Africa”

When Kenya’s newly announced geothermal power generation project comes online, it will turn the East African country into an economic powerhouse in the region.

Valentine Rugwabiza, deputy director-general of the WTO, says Africa needs to strengthen domestic markets and integrate into the world market Credit:  World Trade Organisation

Intra-African Trade or Global Integration: A Chicken-and-Egg Dilemma?

Though the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has long held that trade between African countries is too low, experts at the South Centre, an inter-governmental think tank of developing countries, say intra-continental trade is already significant in manufactured goods and promises a new path to industrialisation.

Industrialised countries have voiced their unhappiness with theUNCTAD

The Battle over Development-Led Globalisation

Industrialised countries have mounted an unprecedented campaign to stop the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development from providing policy advice to the poorest countries in Africa and across the globe.

European NGOs Put IFIs Under Microscope

European civil society organisations continue to demand that international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund apply the same standards of transparency and accountability to their internal affairs that they demand for governments across the world.

The G20 is not representative of the WTO because the poorest countries have no say in setting the trade agenda. Credit: Kim Cloete/IPS

BRICS Ministers Say New Trade Narrative Sinks Development

Trade ministers of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa – say that at the G20 trade ministerial summit later this month in Mexico they will try to ensure that attempts by industrialised countries to frame a new trade agenda do not drown development-led trade liberalisation and the World Trade Organization talks.

South Africa

Brazil and South Africa Hit Hard by Exchange Rate Complications

Brazil and South Africa have experienced a widespread contraction of their manufacturing industries, with the latter suffering massive unemployment as well, thanks to the rampant volatility and misalignment of dominant global currencies like the dollar, trade experts from the two countries say.

India Affirms Role as Developing World’s Pharmacy

By allowing a generic manufacturer to produce a patented cancer drug at a fraction of its current cost, India has declared that it is not about to abandon its role as the ‘pharmacy of the world’s poor'.

A Taiwanese woman protests outside the national legislature against a decision to ‘conditionally deregulate’ import of ractopamine-laced U.S. beef. Credit: Dennis Engbarth/IPS.

Taiwan Beefs Up to Take On the U.S.

Taiwan civic activists and opposition parties have launched efforts to block plans by the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) government to "conditionally deregulate" the import of United States-produced beef containing residues of ractopamine, a controversial "growth enhancing" chemical used in cattle feed.

IBSA has denounced the ongoing attempts to craft an exclusive, plurilateral agreement to liberalise trade in services.  Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

An Assault on Multilateral Trade Negotiations

India, Brazil, and South Africa, the international grouping for promoting international cooperation among the three countries known as IBSA, along with China and several other developing countries, have denounced the ongoing attempts to craft an exclusive, plurilateral agreement to liberalise trade in services without concluding the multilateral trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization.

VENEZUELA-US: Joined by Black Gold

Venezuela and the United States claim they want to reduce their co-dependence on oil, as supplier and importer, respectively. But their mutually beneficial relationship continues with hardly a hiccup as the years go by, in spite of heated verbal confrontations.

Cameroon’s Economy Suffers as Boko Haram Infiltrates Country

Ahmadou Lamine has been forced to close his business selling fuel imported from Nigeria, known locally as "zoa-zoa", because of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.

Malawi’s Consumers Have a Right to Fuel and Forex Black Market

The black market for foreign exchange and fuel is booming in the midst of an acute scarcity in Malawi. The shortage is so severe that even the Consumer Association of Malawi, an influential consumer rights body, has come out in support of the black market.

MIDEAST: Flowers Fight Their Way Out

Ayman Siam, 41, is not growing carnations as usual this year. It’s limonium and statice flowers instead because they are hardier. Given the risks of an Israeli blockade, it’s a political decision.

CAMEROON-CHINA: A Wedding with Uncertain Prospects

The Cameroon government is increasingly turning to China as a privileged partner in its development efforts. But there are many discordant voices who say the long-term effects of China’s economic relations with Cameroon could be disastrous for domestic industry.

Next Page »