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America’s free-trade abdication

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW YORK: The indifference and apathy that one finds in Washington from both the Congress and President Barack Obama on the Doha Round of world trade talks, and the alarm and concern expressed by statesmen elsewhere over the languishing negotiations, mark the end of the post-1945 era of American leadership on multilateral …


The outsourcing bogeyman

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW YORK: Outsourcing of services has been a persistent cause of panic and protectionism in recent years, especially in the United States since the 2004 presidential election. Back then, the Democratic candidate, Senator John Kerry, upon hearing that digital x-rays had been outsourced from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for examination by …


The too-quiet American

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW YORK: It is now apparent that the United States is the main culprit in preventing the ten-year-old multilateral trade negotiations known as the Doha Round from being closed this year. The US has even spurned World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy’s desperate attempt to get member states to support a wholly …


Why free trade matters

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW YORK: Contrary to what skeptics often assert, the case for free trade is robust. It extends not just to overall prosperity (or “aggregate GNP”), but also to distributional outcomes, which makes the free-trade argument morally compelling as well. The link between trade openness and economic prosperity is strong and suggestive. For example, …


The Doha Round’s premature obituary

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW YORK: The Doha Round, the first multilateral trade negotiation conducted under the auspices of the World Trade Organization, is at a critical stage. Now in their 10th year, with much negotiation, the talks need a final political nudge, lest Doha — and hence the WTO — disappear from the world’s radar screen. …


Grameen vs. Bangladesh

By Jagdish Bhagwati HONG KONG: The feud in Bangladesh between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Mohammed Yunus, the founder of the microloan-making Grameen Bank and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is being portrayed as a modern-day replay of the famous battle between the wicked Kauravas and the virtuous Pandavas in the Indian epic, the …


Dead parrot trade talks

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW YORK:The Doha Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (MTN) is the first negotiation to take place under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO), founded in 1995. The eight previous rounds of global trade talks were conducted under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), following its creation in 1947. The …


Getting corruption right

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW YORK: I just returned from India, where I was lecturing to the Indian Parliament in the same hall where US President Barack Obama had recently spoken. The country was racked by scandal. A gigantic, ministerial-level scam in the mobile-telephone sector had siphoned off many billions of dollars to a corrupt politician. But …


India or China?

By Jagdish Bhagwati NEW DELHI: When US President Barack Obama visited India in November and complimented its leaders on the growing success and prowess of their economy, a tacit question returned to center stage: Will China grow faster than India indefinitely, or will India shortly overtake it? In fact, this contest dates back to 1947, when …


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