Trade, Sustainability and Development – August 2013

Trade, Sustainability and Development’ is a monthly newsletter that focuses on sustainable development in the developing world. It consolidates three of World Growth’s publications into a monthly newsletter, and carries World’ Growth’s mission to promote economic development through free trade and open markets.

Greenpeace action on GM in Philippines a “setback for science”

One of the Philippines’ most respected agricultural researchers, Dr. Emil Q. Javier, has hit out at a Greenpeace legal action that has resulted in a halt on field trials of genetically modified aubergines in the Philippines. Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 21, June 2013

Solar panel trade pact will hurt trade, green growth

The EU, US and China are reportedly considering negotiating a deal to settle a trade dispute over low cost imports of solar panels. This comes amid rising tension over E.U. and U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels. The US imposed “anti dumping” tariffs of 30 percent last year. The E.U. recently imposed provisional duties, which could rise as high as 68 percent later in the year. Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 20, May 2013

North South divide in APEC over denomination of Environmental Goods and Services

Proposals by developing countries to expand the list of environmental goods recognised by APEC to include agri-food commodities including palm oil have been opposed by the US and several industrialised economies.  This is a setback for APEC and wider global initiatives to support outcomes which a senior Indonesian trade official described as “pro environment, pro development and pro poor”. Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 18, March 2013

US blending credit for alternative fuels encourages palm oil imports

A US blending tax credit for biofuels could see palm biodiesel exports to the US from South East Asia increase markedly. At $1 a gallon, or $300 per tonne, the credit would reportedly will make palm oil derived biodiesel competitive with petroleum diesel in the US. Palm oil prices are currently cheaper than US soyoil mainly due to high inventories in major producers Malaysia and Indonesia. Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 17, February 2013

Transatlantic trade deal announced– the next ‘green FTA’?

After several months of talking, the US has announced its intention to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with the EU. In his State of the Union address on February 12, President Obama announced that the Administration plans to notify Congress of its intent to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU. Continue reading

Revising the Equator Principles: Why Banks should not become the New Sustainability Regulators of Emerging Markets

On 13 August 2012 a draft of the updated Equator Principles (EP) was released for stakeholder consultation and public comment. This latest revision of the EP is a marked attempt to dramatically alter the role of financial institutions in emerging markets, from financiers to sustainability regulators. Continue reading

Un-Fair Trade: Turning the tide on misguided altruism

Fairtrade (FT) represents itself as a consumer-driven long-term development strategy. It claims to support poor producers in the global south and aims to alleviate them from poverty by certifying their production processes and selling their products to consumers in the global north at a price premium. The FT movement has succeeded in convincing conscientious consumers that its labelled products are the most effective in aiding the poor. However, the extent to which the FT model brings net benefits to the poor is largely unfounded. Continue reading

Trade and Environment Newsletter: Issue 15, December 2012

Spain’s biofuel laws to be tested in the WTO

Argentina has mounted a challenge to a Ministerial Order of Spain governing the importation of biodiesels in the WTO.

The Order regulates the allocation of biofuel production volumes for calculating compliance with the objectives set by the EU Renewable Energy Directive (EU – RED). EU-RED requires EU member countries to implement a mandatory target for renewable energy sources. Argentina contends the Order restricts imports of biodiesel produced outside the EU by requiring that the supply of biofuels used in Spain be totally produced in plants located within the EU, contrary to WTO rules.  Continue reading