7th April 2017
The Brexit and Trump kamikaze wings are trying to kill businesses
Brexit and the Trump Revolution are often linked. What really unites them is the extraordinarily uncommercial attitude many of their politicians are taking to what real businesses want. They differ...
1st March 2017
US policy announcements ignore major trade commitments
Although in January Donald Trump summarised his objectives as “Buy American, hire American", major policy priority summaries now almost ignore trade programmes. Trump’s Address to Congress Donald Trump’s February 28...
28th February 2017
Mexico says “we’ll quit NAFTA if Trump makes unreasonable demands”
Mexico's top trade negotiator said in an interview published on February 27 that he would walk away from the table if US negotiators threatened 20% duties on cars. “The moment that...
17th November 2016
A bad week for Brexit.
Theresa May keeps insisting “Brexit means Brexit”. But no-one in Britain can agree what Brexit means, how long it’ll take to get there or what Britain’s trade policy will be...
12th November 2016
Donald Trump’s immediate plans for the apparel industry
On October 22, Donald Trump published his work programme for the first hundred days of his Presidency. So far as this industry is concerned, that programme – reproduced, slightly abbreviated,...
28th February 2015
US government “concerned” over Honduras labour law enforcement
The US Department of Labor (DoL) raised serious concerns on February 27 about the effective enforcement of labour laws in Honduras under the CAFTA-DR labour chapter. This adds to a number of labour rights...
23rd February 2015
Free trade, pots and kettles…
There are times advocates of free trade need to think before opening their mouths - or uploading their blogs. An apparently praiseworthy article in the Pakistani press about access to...
12th February 2015
US and Guatemala exchange arguments over labour rights claims
US submissions in its long-standing labour rights dispute with Guatemala came to light in February Both sides now having sent in written submissions to the arbitral panel adjudicating on US...
12th February 2015
US launches WTO complaint against China’s “Demonstration Bases” export subsidies
In a move probably aimed above all at US politicians, the US government announced on February 11 the first steps in a formal WTO case against Chinese export subsidies for...
31st January 2015
2014 Trade Agreements: ASEAN Economic Community launch worries its members
The Association of South East Asian Nations has been reasonably successful in dismantling many barriers to trade between its members (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Burma,...
11th November 2014
Are we seeing the industry’s first social accountability tipping point?
In the decade or so I've been sharing my views in my monthly FlanaRant, one paradox has particularly puzzled me: Big apparel buyers have consistently laid down tight specifications for...
17th October 2014
Facilitation, Schmacilitation. Why the WTO needs a sense of proportion
Trade lobbyists really have to get a sense of proportion. This week’s posturing by trade lobbies about trade facilitation suggests they wouldn’t recognise one if it turned up on their...