World Trade Correspondent, Geneva
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Aug 13, 2010

Basel proposals bring no comfort to trade finance

GENEVA, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Recent amendments from the Basel
Committee on banking regulation do not appear to meet the
concern of practitioners of trade finance that proposed new
rules could make the vital loans scarcer and more expensive.

Bankers and lawyers are still deciphering the revisions. But
several say they still have their work cut out to convince
regulators that the $10 trillion market, the lifeblood of global
trade, is much less risky than other forms of lending.

Aug 12, 2010
via Global News Journal

Can export bans be challenged at the WTO?




Russia’s ban on grain exports as a heat wave parches crops in the world’s third biggest wheat exporter has raised questions whether such export curbs break World Trade Organization rules. Russia is not a member of the WTO, and it remains to be seen how its new grain policy will affect its 17-year-old bid to join. But other grain exporters, such as Ukraine, which is also considering export curbs, are part of the global trade referee.

WTO rules are quite clear that members cannot interfere with imports and exports in a way that disrupts trade or discriminates against other members. But in practice most WTO rules aim to stop countries blocking imports – shutting out competitor’s goods to give their own domestic producers an unfair advantage.

Aug 9, 2010

WTO condemns Australian ban on New Zealand apples

GENEVA, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Australia’s decades-old
restrictions on imports of New Zealand apples break
international trade laws and should be amended, the World Trade
Organization said on Monday.
The WTO panel ruling should open the way for New Zealand to
resume sales of apples to its biggest trading partner after
nearly 90 years, and holds out the possibility of access to
other Asian markets where its apples are banned for similar

Like many trade disputes this one turned on health and
safety rules, which are vulnerable to being exploited by
domestic producers to ward off foreign competition.

Aug 5, 2010
Aug 4, 2010
Jul 23, 2010

WTO seeks more cooperation in natural resource trade

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization called on Friday for countries to work together more closely in trade in natural resources — an area often seen as exempt from many international commerce rules.

Governments must cooperate more intensively to deal with the challenges for both importing and exporting countries in trade in natural resources, such as export restrictions and import tariffs, it said in its annual World Trade Report.

Jul 22, 2010

Global investment flows to recover in 2010-12 –UN

GENEVA, July 22 (Reuters) – Global foreign direct investment
(FDI) flows will steady this year and rise further in 2011-12 as
cross-border mergers by multinational companies pick up on
growing business confidence, a United Nations agency said.

FDI, on which many developing countries rely to finance
their economies, will rise to $1.3-1.5 trillion in 2011 and
towards $1.6-2.0 trillion in 2012 from $1.2 trillion this year,
the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said.

Jul 20, 2010

EU appeals against ruling in WTO Airbus case

GENEVA, July 21 (Reuters) – The European Union said it will
appeal on Wednesday against a World Trade Organization ruling
condemning its subsidies for Airbus (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), prolonging a
dispute with the United States for at least several more months.

An EU source close to the case said Brussels would hand in
its appeal shortly before a special session of the WTO’s dispute
settlement body.

Jul 19, 2010
Jul 16, 2010

U.S. business sees Doha trade deal momentum in 2011

GENEVA, July 16 (Reuters) – Trade is moving back up the U.S.
political agenda and there is scope to reach a deal next year in
the long-running Doha round and other stalled trade
negotiations, industry lobbyists said on Friday.

But to get the backing of business, a Doha agreement must be
more ambitious than what is currently on the table, said
Christopher Wenk, senior director for international policy at
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    • About Jonathan

      "I write about world trade for Reuters and also lead our Geneva bureau covering international organisations based in Geneva. I spent many years in Eastern Europe, both before the Berlin Wall came down, and after 1989, when I covered the economic transition of the region. I also worked in Moscow from 1994 to 1998, where I set up Reuters domestic service for Russia and the CIS, and ran news operations in the Nordic and Baltic countries from 1998 to 2002 and Southeast Asia from 2002 to 2007."
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