Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Gallagher’


Kevin Gallagher gets it right

January 7, 2011

It should be no surprise that I agree with Kevin Gallagher (Boston University/Tufts Global Development and Environment Institute), but it’s nice to see that he basically echoes what I’ve been saying over the past few posts about the China/WTO/green energy issue: “The US should not try to beat China down, but should pursue its own green jobs policy and reform the WTO, so the rules allow countries to combat climate change.”

Gallagher does seem to be a bit more optimistic about the WTO than I generally am, as he sees potential room for allowing green-energy subsidies to be exempt from WTO disciplines:

…there may be a window at the WTO for subsidies for alternative energy. Developed countries saw to it that the subsidies agreement at the WTO left room to support research and development, regional inequality and environmental protection. This window closed in 2000, but is under review in the (stalled) round of WTO talks, and could be expanded.

I didn’t know this particular tidbit about the subsidies agreement – very interesting. That said, I don’t really think the ideal course of action is to add more exceptions to misguided WTO rules, since, as they say, the exceptions prove the rule.

What I find most interesting in Gallagher’s piece, though, is this quote he pulls from Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope:

“Indeed, countries that have successfully developed under the current international system have at times ignored Washington’s rigid economic prescriptions by protecting nascent industries and engaging in aggressive industrial policies.”

Too bad this passage doesn’t much fit with what Obama’s apparent international economic policy has been thus far.

Flying Whale



November 10, 2010

Kevin Gallagher (Boston University, Tufts Global Development & Environment Program) and Jayati Ghosh (Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi) have written a great piece using Obama’s India visit as a hook to talk about Bilateral Investment Treaties. We hear about bilateral FTAs and multilateral organizations like the WTO all the time, but BITs have flown underneath the radar for a while. This is a great and timely intro for the uninitiated – BITs are essentially the crappy foreign investor protections contained in NAFTA-style FTAs and the long-dead Multilateral Agreement on Investment, stuck into independent treaties.

The Bolivian Cochabamba water privatization fiasco? There is a BIT relevant to that case, which Gallagher and Ghosh use as their illustrative example. And here’s another case study at Eyes On Trade of how BITs empower multinationals at the expense of sound domestic policymaking.

Flying Whale