New Report: Wronging Indonesia – The EU’s Bait and Switch Illegal Logging Policy

The EU is delaying implementation of a ‘Voluntary Partnership Agreement’ (VPA) with Indonesia on illegal timber exports. Indonesia has complied with EU demands at significant cost, but the delays mean Indonesia’s exporters will now have to comply with a different, more costly system of regulation. This report examines the implications.  Continue reading

The Economic Impact of U.S. Trade Sanctions on Imports of Paper Products

September 2011 – A Study by Dr. Robert Shapiro and Sonecon, LLC, Commissioned by World Growth

In September 2009, three, large U.S.-based paper companies (NewPage Corporation, Appleton Coated and Sappi-North America) and the United Steelworkers Union (USW), filed complaints of unfair trade practices by Chinese and Indonesian coated paper producers with the International Trade Commission (ITC) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This conflict between U.S. and foreign paper producers ignores the most basic features of the global paper market: nations expand their capacity to produce paper Continue reading

Abuse of Sustainability Standards; An Attack on Free Trade, Competition and Economic Growth

September 2011 – A Study by World Growth

The case to enhance sustainability is now being used to justify trade barriers, constraints on competition, denial of consumer choice and slower economic growth. In different spheres, governments, large corporations and NGOs are taking action which will produce these perverse results across a common set of industries and products. These are industries which have been selected by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to advance its environmental ambitions. They include timber and paper, vegetable oils, seafood, beef and sugar. The European Commission and some of its leading members Continue reading

A Poison, Not a Cure; The Campaign to Ban Trade in Illegally Logged Timber

May 2011 – A World Growth Study

Environmental groups, such as WWF and Greenpeace, have a global goal of halting commercial forestry and forestry in native forests. One of their strategies to advance this campaign is to generate global concern that illegal logging is a major global problem. One presumption is that high volumes of illegally-sourced wood products are entering the global market. This presumption cannot be substantiated and is very likely to be untrue. The campaign urges trade bans on imports of illegal timber. It has also been driven by industrialized countries, in particular the UK. The campaign is also supported by Continue reading

Green Protectionism and the Lacey Act

April 2011 – A Submission by World Growth

The US Lacey Act is heavy-handed in its approach. Regulatory intervention under the Act is justified under the presumption that high levels of illegally sourced wood products are entering the US market. In reality, this is not the case. This view has been propagated by a political campaign aimed to protect uncompetitive industry. Impartial assessment of the issues is needed before the US Government considers widening the scope of these amendments. The limited assessments that so far have been Continue reading

The Issue of Indirect Land Use Change Associated with Biofuel Consumption; Submission to the European Commission

October 2010 – A Submission by World Growth

The EU Renewable Energy Directive directs the European Commission to prepare a report on the issue of indirect land use change associated with biofuel consumption.  The Commission is expected to present its report to the European Parliament and the European Council in December 2010.  Early in 2010 the Commission commissioned a number of analyses of different aspects of the issue. These analyses consist of three modelling analyses of the greenhouse impacts of indirect land use change, together with a review of the literature on this subject.  The Commission has Continue reading

Green Risk and Red Ink: WWF’s Threat to Free Enterprise

October 2010 – Green Papers: Issue VII

The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) is a large, multi-faceted international non-governmental organization. It has a high income and expenditure, in excess of US$650 million annually. It devotes as much as one-third of its operating budget to forestry issues, either through conservation work or via lobbying governments and the private sector on forestry policy. It enters into partnerships with corporations that impose a cost on business. Its varying programs and coalitions with other NGOs and the private sector wield considerable policy influence over governments, Continue reading

Clarification of the European Commission’s Position on the Renewable Energy Directive

August 2010 – Green Papers: Issue V

The European Renewable Energy Directive has been subject to considerable ‘negotiation’ and gamesmanship. The controversies arise over the use and import of biofuels. What is becoming increasingly clear is the extent and depth of friction between competing interests upon which the Directive impacts. Earlier this year, Environmental NGOs protested that the European Commission was set to define oil palms as forests for the purposes of the Directive. Ultimately, the EC released a Communication which ‘excluded’ oil palms from the definition of forests.  The reality is Continue reading

Protectionism: The New Tool Against Forestry in the Developing World

June 2010 – A World Growth Study

The World Growth report, “Protectionism: The New Tool Against Forestry in the Developing World” examines the way in which both Western governments and NGOs are using different types of trade controls to dictate forest policy in the developing world. The European Union in particular has launched a raft of policy measures that are aimed squarely at forest products such as paper and timber, while the US has amended the Lacey Act to control all imports of plant products. At the same time, both countries have used anti-dumping or countervailing procedures to impose Continue reading


May 2010 – Green Papers: Issue III

In a carefully co-ordinated campaign, environmental groups in Europe and North America are ‘greenmailing’ major companies in Europe and the US to suspend purchase of paper products and palm oil from Indonesian and Chinese producers. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in Europe, and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in the US, have threatened to blacken the standing of luxury goods companies, major retail chains and major producers of grocery products unless they submit to Greenpeace demands. The assertions that these companies endorse serious damage to the environment Continue reading