Civil Society Letter to Roberto Azevêdo, Director General, WTO

By CSOs | Letter | February 9, 2017

This letter is addressed to you as DG, WTO on the occasion of your visit to India. This is being sent collectively from civil society groups, including farmers, workers, people living with cancer, HIV and HCV, health groups, retailers, and grass-root constituencies in India who are calling on you for a change in approach in the WTO negotiations, by advancing its development mandate rather than pursuing a trade agenda essentially for increasing the stranglehold of the dominant corporations.

Since its inception, the WTO has not addressed the legitimate developmental concerns even when it was mandated to do so. In the past two decades during which WTO has implemented the Uruguay…

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Supreme Court Brexit Ruling: What Happens Next?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | January 26, 2017

In a landmark judgement delivered on January 24, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled that the government must obtain the approval of parliament before triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – the legal process to leave the European Union. By upholding the 2016 High Court verdict, the judges of Supreme Court ruled by a margin of 8-3 that the UK government cannot use the so-called royal prerogative powers to leave the EU without the prior authorization of parliament.

Prime Minister Theresa May had insisted that her government has the authority to enter into and withdraw from treaties under royal prerogative powers and therefore it…

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Britain Heading Towards a ‘Hard’ Brexit

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | January 19, 2017

After months of speculation, British Prime Minister Theresa May finally revealed her plans for Britain’s clean break from the European Union (Brexit). In a much-anticipated speech to European diplomats at Lancaster House (London) on Tuesday, May outlined her government’s strategy for Brexit by confirming that Britain wants a wants a complete break from the EU’s single market, which allows free movement of goods, services, capital and people within 28-nation bloc. Instead, her government will pursue a “new, comprehensive, bold and ambitious” free trade agreement with the EU.

Opting for a so-called ‘hard’ Brexit strategy, she said: “I want to be clear: What I am proposing…

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“Brump” Heightens Uncertainty in Global Economy

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | January 6, 2017

The two big political events of 2016 – Brexit referendum on June 23 and Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election on November 8 – have added significant uncertainty to an already fragile global economy. Due to economic and political uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, the IMF has lowered the global economic growth forecast for 2017 to 3.4 percent.

Eight years after the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, the economic recovery remains uneven in most advanced economies with persistently weak private demand and limited job growth. The financial crisis is far from over, only its intensity and geography have changed. The…

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The TPP is Dead. What Happens Next?

By Kavaljit Singh | Commentary | November 25, 2016

On Monday, the US President-elect Donald Trump announced that the US will pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact on his first day in office (January 20). In a video message outlining his policy plans for the first 100 days in the Oval Office, Trump stated: “I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from TPP, a potential disaster for our country. Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back on to American shores.”

The Obama administration was trying hard to seek US congressional ratification this year but it abandoned efforts after the victory…

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