Thursday, September 15, 2005

FW: [wto-info] Mandelson: Over the Top in DC Speech

Interesting comments by Mandelson...


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Subject: [wto-info] Mandelson: Over the Top in DC Speech


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Mandleson gave a speech at our National Press Club. He said some truly

astonishing things:


1. "Doha is a trans-atlantic business.... It used to be just US and EU"

making the decisions at WTO and then everyone else signed off. US and EU

must show leadership and come up with a proposal to present to the other

cos. "This is necessary, but not sufficient" "Thus, we must recognize

the role Brazil and India can play to show a more collective style of



2. "We should rethink the North South divide given major new dividesin

the south..."


3. Developing country negotiators both demand and distrust US-EU

leadership. They urge us to come up with a deal, they ask us to go work

it out amongst ourselves, but then the same negotiators critcize us when

we show leadership.


4. In the course of this speech, Mandelson repeated the phrase:


times in describing: opponents of CAFTA, opponents of his agenda at WTO,

anyone in mid-tier develping countries who want to maintain high

tariffs, those who want scale back ambittions at WTO, critics of

progressive liberalization, etc. Referring to the majoirty in US polling



as those with NO LONG TERM FUTURE. Regdarding the Democrats who voted

against CAFTA, as well as what Congress Daily reports below, he also

urged them to 'take a more honest view""  and the quote noted below was

actually much more snotty: Playing to the gallery, pandering isn't good

enough FOR RESPONSBILE POLITICIANS." Not very diplomatic!


5. US- EU ability to get WTO negots back on track are test of ability of

whether we can unite and cooperate in the face of terrorism; Ability to

have an ambitious outcome at Hong Kong WTO Ministerial is test of

ability of whether we can unite and cooperate in the face of terrorism;

various other seeming unr;ated items are also test of ability of whether

we can unite and cooperate in the face of terrorism.


The spin and mesage discipline shows he was once UK's Director of

Communications (ie White House press secretary equivilent) but what the

attack on Dems would seem to make less probable is that it was for

Blair, not Thatcher!


On "substance" - He talked a lot about how it had to be an ambitious

round. How weak kneeed fear of trade-related job loss and displacement

was leading to dangerous wave of protectionism wordwide even though all

agree that the only route to alleviate poverty is "progressive

liberalization. You can forget the idea that poor countries can develop

behind protections. (and now this is realy rich...) We must provide them

with the route we rich countries used in industrialization. WE SHOULDN'T



A. SERVICES: "There are some effective campaigns in the US and EU for

service sector liberalization. I only ask that you speak wioth a louder

and more powerful voice..."  Unbelievable: he calls on corporations to

beat harder on the governments!


B. NAMA: Major left over business of UR was high tariffs in mid-level



C. Said various things on ag - I am about to forward a news story that

reports it pretty well


D. Admitted that for poorest WTO members, which he said was half of the

cos, gains from Round would be less than for middle income countrie and

thus the US would have to just suck it up and jpin EU in strategy of

buying developing countries agreement on Doha Round by offering major

"infrasturcture gains" (??) capacity building funding and also providing

real market access offers



And, if you did not have enuf, he closed by calling for urgent US-EU

propgress in reviving the talks in "the most democratic mechanisms of

international governance, the WTO."


Lori M. Wallach


Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

215 Pennsylvania Ave SE

Washington, DC  USA   20003


1-202-547-7392 (fax)


>>> Eliza Brinkmeyer 9/14/2005 9:45:25 AM >>>


National Journal's CongressDailyAM

Issue date: Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Mandelson Disappointed By Dems' Stand On Trade

     European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said Tuesday that

the opposition of Democrats to trade agreements has disappointed him and

he now fears Republicans are following their lead.

     It is rare for foreign officials to comment on domestic politics,

but Mandelson told a National Press Club luncheon that, "It's

disappointing to me to see so many friends that I have in the Democratic

Party turning their backs on free trade and now dragging the Republicans

behind them."

     Mandelson, a former Labor Party politician in Great Britain and an

architect of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's campaigns, added,

"Pandering to the gallery isn't good enough." But he added that, as a

former politician, "I understand what the ballot box can do to your

deeply held views."

     Mandelson repeated statements he has made for U.S.-E.U. cooperation

in the Doha round of trade talks and said worldwide economic fears

raised by Hurricane Katrina are another reason for the United States to

give a signal of economic leadership.

     Mandelson also called on middle-income countries to reduce their

tariffs on industrial products and services, but did not mention those

countries reducing agricultural tariffs, a key U.S. demand in the Doha







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Friday, September 02, 2005

Mandelson 'illegal' trade move

In advice for a new report by the development charity ActionAid a lawyer in Matrix Chambers today warns that European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson is violating a legal duty to Africa by undermining alternatives to his trade plans which, critics fear, threaten the jobs of millions of poor people.

This deepens embarrassment for Mr Mandelson after leaked documents in May showed that he is seeking to exploit his close relationship with Tony Blair to persuade him to revise UK policy. In March the government had issued a statement questioning the speed at which African countries should open their markets to products from EU big business under proposed economic partnership agreements.

Now Kate Cook, a government lawyer before moving to Matrix Chambers, says Mr Mandelson’s uncompromising position on EPAs breaches treaty obligations to African, Caribbean and Pacific nations. The legal alert is signalled as Jack Straw today, with Britain holding the European presidency, chairs talks between EU foreign ministers at Coldra Woods, near Newport in Wales. The advice to ActionAid counsels that Mr Mandelson is violating a trade and development treaty made with ACP countries at Cotonou, in the West African state of Benin, which obliged the EU to consider alternatives to its plans.

This latest move will intensify pressure on Mr Mandelson to give 76 ACP nations – many of them among the poorest in the developing world – a choice over EU deals. More than 180 MPs have signed a Commons motion attacking EPAs and the cross-party international development committee expressed concern over the proposals. In addition, criticism has come from Mr Blair’s Commission for Africa, UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, Botswana’s president Festus Mogae and Kenyan trade minister, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi.

And the EPAs controversy is widening as Britain, also presiding over the G8 group of the richest nations, faces rising heat to stop forcing developing countries to open their markets in the run-up to the World Trade Organisation ministerial summit in Hong Kong in December

ActionAid is concerned that Mr Mandelson will bully poor ACP countries into accepting EPAs through fear they will otherwise lose aid and access to European markets. Amid a warning that EPAs would risk the livelihoods of millions of people, the charity today launches a new report examining pro-development alternatives.

The report’s author, ActionAid trade policy officer Tom Sharman, said: “Peter Mandelson is breaking international law by rubbishing alternatives to economic partnership agreements and Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroder are letting him get away with it.

“But it is not too late for the EU to scrap plans to force open African markets and start proper discussions on a trade deal that puts poor people before big business.”



FW: [stopepa] Mandelson 'illegal' trade move - media coverage to date

The Trade Escape: media coverage: updated 2nd September 2005, 10.50am


BBC news online: 1 September 2005

Aid charity criticises Mandelson

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson has been accused by charity ActionAid of breaking international law on trade agreements with poor countries.


It says poor countries might be forced into accepting economic partnership agreements (EPAs) through fear of losing access to European markets.


The international charity says the move could threaten the jobs of people in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.


The accusations come prior to a new report by ActionAid, The Trade Escape.


'Rubbishing alternatives'

The charity's report examines pro-development alternatives to EPAs.


The report's author, ActionAid trade policy officer Tom Sharman, said: "Peter Mandelson is breaking international law by rubbishing alternatives to economic partnership agreements and Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroder are letting him get away with it.


"But it is not too late for the EU to scrap plans to force open African markets and start proper discussions on a trade deal that puts poor people before big business."


Evening Standard online: 1 September 2005

Aid charity accuses Mandelson
A charity has accused EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson of breaking international law over trade agreements with some of the poorest countries in the world.


ActionAid claims that Mr Mandelson is violating a trade and development treaty in a move which could threaten the jobs of millions of poor people in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.


The organisation says it is concerned that poor countries in this area could be pressured into accepting economic partnership agreements (EPAs) through fear that otherwise they could lose access to European markets.


The claims come as ActionAid launches a new report, The Trade Escape, which examines pro-development alternatives to EPAs.


The report's author, ActionAid trade policy officer Tom Sharman, said: "Peter Mandelson is breaking international law by rubbishing alternatives to economic partnership agreements and Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroder are letting him get away with it.


"But it is not too late for the EU to scrap plans to force open African markets and start proper discussions on a trade deal that puts poor people before big business."


Morning Star: 1 September 2005

Mandelson plots to exploit Africa



POVERTY charity ActionAid accused EU commissioner Peter Mandelson yesterday of plotting the imminent destruction of millions of jobs in Africa.


The charity warned in a new report that Mr Mandelson wants to flout international law and force poor African countries to open their markets to goods and services from EU countries.


This would lead to a flood of subsidised products from EU big business concerns, wrecking people's livelihoods in Africa. "The most unequal trade negotiations in history could produce the most disastrous results for development," the report insisted.


Mr Mandelson is breaching treaty obligations to Third World nations by setting out to torpedo suggested alternatives to his draconian trading regime, alleged top lawyer Kate Cook.


The charity also charged Mr Mandelson with double standards - imposing quotas on imports from China, while demanding free access to African markets for EU big business.


The famed evil genius of new Labour is seeking to exploit his close relationship with Prime Minister Tony Blair in order to persuade him to drop concerns about the rapid opening up of African economies to EU goods.


ActionAid trade policy officer Tom Sharman warned: "Peter Mandelson is breaking international law by rubbishing alternatives to economic partnership agreements and Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder are letting him get away with it."


Mr Sharman added that it is still not too late to prevent Mr Mandelson's scheming and, instead, "start proper discussions on a trade deal that puts poor people before big business."


ActionAid spokesman Paul Collins accused Mr Mandelson of pursuing, "with some aggression," the imposition of economic partnership agreements with African countries.


The danger is that governments of poor countries will feel pressurised into agreements, frightened that, "if they do not sign up, they may lose EU aid or debt relief."


This, in turn, would result in decimation of particular industries or agricultural sectors such as sugar or tomatoes, warned Mr Collins.


ActionAid called for a renewed campaign to secure viable alternative options for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.


Radically reformed agreements could ensure that these countries "would continue to enjoy preferential access to the European market, while maintaining the right to protect their industries from unfair competition," said the charity.


A Downing Street spokesman said yesterday that Mr Blair "fully supports" EU trade commissioner Mandelson in his attempts to resolve the dispute over import quotas on textile products from China.


Millions of Chinese-made garments from bras and underwear to pullovers are being stockpiled in customs warehouses.


The spokesman indicated that the dispute will be raised during talks when Mr Blair visits China next week, although he added that the EU commission was the "sole negotiator" in the trade dispute.

Interview with BBC Radio Scotland: 1 September 2005, 4.45pm


Liverpool Daily Post: 1 September 2005


Mandelson accused of breaking trade laws
A CHARITY has accused EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson of breaking international law over trade agreements with some of the poorest countries in the world.


ActionAid claims that Mr Mandelson is violating a trade and development treaty in a move which could threaten the jobs of millions of poor people in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.


The organisation says it is concerned that poor countries could be pressured into accepting economic partnership agreements (EPAs).


The claims come as ActionAid launches a new report, The Trade Escape.


ActionAid trade policy officer Tom Sharman, the report’s author, said "Peter Mandelson is breaking international law by rubbishing alternatives to economic partnership agreements and Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroder are letting him get away with it .” 1 September 2005$15034624.htm

Mandelson's trade plans 'break international law'


European Union trade commissioner Peter Mandelson could be breaking international law by undermining alternatives to his trade plans, experts have said.

Kate Cook, a former government lawyer who now works for Matrix Chambers, has said Mr Mandelson's uncompromising position could breach treaty obligations to African, Caribbean and Pacific nations.

The legal advice to charity ActionAid says the trade commissioner is violating a trade and development treaty made with these countries that obliged the EU to consider alternatives to its plans.

"Peter Mandelson is breaking international law by rubbishing alternatives to economic partnership agreements and Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroder are letting him get away with it," said ActionAid trade policy officer Tom Sharman.

"But it is not too late for the EU to scrap plans to force open African markets and start proper discussions on a trade deal that puts poor people before big business."


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Mandelson Answers to Trade Committee of European Parliament (23 May, 2005)

Peter Mandelson

EU Trade Commissioner

Remarks to the Trade Committee of the European Parliament

Trade Committee of the European Parliament
Brussels, 23 May 2005

Today, I would like to focus my remarks primarily on EPAs and our report on the take up of preferences to our markets by Developing Countries. I will also say a few words about the latest developments in relation to textiles and Airbus/Boeing and the ASEAN meeting. As ever I am happy to deal with any questions you might have on any other subject.

1. The White Paper on preferences

My commitment is to put trade at the service of development. In this context I asked my Services to provide a documented, sober assessment of the EU's openness to developing countries and I announced to the Development Committee, on 17 March, my intention to publish an annual White Paper monitoring the take up of our various trade preference programmes. My services have brought along copies for you and they are available at the distribution point at the entrance to the meeting room.

The White Paper’s findings can be summarized in one sentence: the European Union is already today through its trade policy, giving developing countries many of the chances they desperately deserve.

We have been steadily and progressively opening up our markets to poor countries, through preferential trade arrangements, for the last 30 years. By 2003, no less than 40% of our imports came from all developing countries, including rapidly developing countries like China.

However, our policy, as it should be, is particularly favourable to the poorer and more vulnerable exporters. Amongst the rich so-called Quad of the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan, Europe’s share of total LDC exports (excluding petrol) was 63% in 2003. This makes us, by far the most open market for the world’s poorer, least developed countries.

What’s more, the preferences we offer are of real and increasing help. The proportion of goods entering the EU at zero tariff or at reduced rates of duty steadily increased between 1999 and 2003 from 71% to 79%. Only 3% of goods imported from the ACP family of nations was charged full duties in 2003. And LDCs benefit, of course, from full tariff and quota free access under Everything but Arms.

In this, Europe compares well with other rich countries. The data shows that we take in close to 70% of LDC agricultural exports, against only 17% for the United States. I know there are plenty of people who argue that the workings of the Common Agricultural Policy are iniquitous for the poorest countries and of course I accept the case for reform: but the figures tell a different story. The constraints operating are more to do with capacity of supply and challenges of logistics and transportation, than market access.

So the Summary of the facts shows we are giving significant help to the poorest. My Conclusion, however, is that rather than be complacent, there is more work still to do. Where do we go from here?

2. Economic Partnership Agreements with the ACP countries.

We are making good progress on substance with all six regions. Our immediate focus is on helping our partners integrate their economies regionally: for the impetus given to growth of regional markets is one of the most important innovations of this EPA process.

By this autumn we’ll be holding Joint Ministerial meetings for each region following the technical discussions. By then we should have a negotiating road map for each region.

These roadmaps will be tailored to the needs of each region. They cover capacity issues such as customs and revenue, trade facilitation, help with meeting standards and managing change in specific sectors. With some regions, if they wish, we are also discussing a broader agenda of trade in services, competition and investment policies, IPR issues and public procurement. The interests of our ACP partners are always put first.

The negotiation deadline agreed in Cotonou is 1st January 2008. Talks must conclude by mid 2007. Agreement will send a powerful signal that ACP countries are taking the desired steps to integrate progressively into the world economy.

Let me stress, up front, that our EPA agenda is emphatically not about opening markets to our own exports: it is about opening European, as well as crucial regional markets to developing countries and enabling them to take advantage of these opportunities. To comply with our WTO obligations there has to be an element of reciprocity in these agreements, but there will be no equality in these obligations. Our ACP partners will only be expected to open their markets progressively over a long period, and only as their capacity to trade allows. And further access to our markets will be part of the package for ACP countries which are not LDCs.

At the very beginning of my mandate, I decided to inject a greater development focus to the EPAs. Louis Michel and I have set up, in partnership with the ACP, a development review mechanism, to ensure that the support we are giving for supply side development and regional integration actually translates into capacity building. This is about building markets and the ability to trade, rather than opening markets to our own exports. Today, the structures in the Commission are in place, and we are now in the implementation phase, as I indicated last month to the Joint ACP Parliamentary Assembly in Mali.

NGOs, as campaigning organisations, are always in need of issues to mobilise public opinion – and EPAs are currently high on the list. Of course, they are entitled – and right - to pose challenging and hard questions about the negotiations. I shall listen very carefully to these, if they are designed to get the best deal for ACP countries. But I want to offer one word of caution to NGOs and those who are supporting them. EPAs aim to be pro-development, pro-reform instruments. Be careful that your campaigning zeal against EPAs does not lead you to oppose innovation, frustrate change and undermine the case for reform in developing countries because, in this case, you will not be helping these countries and the progressive ministers in their governments. There is a danger of ACP countries being locked into the past, forever dependent on eroding, single commodity preferences. In any developing country, there are some who are forward – looking reform-minded people who seek global opportunities and there are conservatives who see every possible change as a potential threat. NGOs, through their desire to identify with developing countries, should be careful not to align themselves with those who are simply anti-change. That’s disastrous for development.

Beyond the EPAs themselves, let me also say a few words on preferences more broadly. And, specifically, how we can go further, ensuring these preferences are utilised.

First, we will give further market access. On agriculture, I am fully committed to the full implementation of quota and tariff – free access through EBA, at the end of the transition periods for sensitive products. Going back on our EBA commitments will not happen

Second, and more importantly, enable developing countries to take full advantage of new trading opportunities, I want the EU to lead the G8 push for “aid for trade”.

Third, our trade policy will continue to focus on the more vulnerable countries. The new GSP, when adopted, will increase preferences to the poorest beneficiaries and I deplore the fact that the Council has failed to adopt the proposal. As a result some powerful players, notably China in textiles, are still enjoying preferences under the previous system. I will continue to work hard to broker an agreement to ensure the EU implements what is our single most important pro-development trade instrument.

Fourth, through a review of the rules of origin, we can make preferential access perform better for need countries. My colleague Lazlo Kovacs and I will continue to push through this agenda, starting with a review of rules of origin for the GSP, but reviewing them across all our preferential trade agreements and arrangements, with the purpose of both simplifying and relaxing them where we can.

Last but by no means least, I am committed to a tangible pro-development outcome of the Doha talks. I cannot overstate the importance of this to developing countries. To get there requires a major contribution from the EU. But it also means getting all countries on board to deliver pro-poor outcomes for the most vulnerable countries of the WTO membership, including the achievement of an ambitious level of South-South market opening. I will continue to invest as much time and energy as necessary to achieve this.

3. Textiles - China

As you know on 29 April, the Commission began an investigation into 9 categories of textiles and clothing imported from China under the EU guidelines introduced on 6 April. In two of the nine categories of textile products, evidence suggesting the possibility of serious damage has become so clear that I considered it necessary to advance immediately to formal consultations with China under the WTO special safeguards provisions. The Commission approved this step last week.

Formal consultations will be requested concerning Chinese exports of t-shirts and flax yarn, after approval by Textiles Committee (meeting today Monday, 23 May, at 14.30).

Upon receipt of request for consultations, China is bound to limit exports to the levels reached during the preceding 12 months of the last 14 months, plus 7.5%, prior to the request. If China does not respect this obligation, the Community is entitled unilaterally to set an import quota at this level.

Investigations will continue for the other products and bilateral contacts continue in order to find a settlement with China.

At the same time the Commission is still in negotiations with the Chinese on the measures to be adopted to alleviate the situation in the EU import market. I am seeing the Chinese negotiator tomorrow.

China has recently announced a series of additional measures aimed at dampening their export growth. We want to analyse these measures in detail to measure their likely impact, and to explore whether an agreed solution is possible rather than the imposition of safeguard measures.

As I have frequently said, I believe that this would be the best outcome. We want to work with the Chinese to handle the transition from quota based trade. There can be no question of returning to quotas.

4. Now turning to Asia, I would like to give you a brief report on the ASEAN meeting which I attended at the end of April.

ASEAN’s current priority is negotiating regional FTA agreements, for example with (China, Japan, India, Korea, Australia/NZ).

They want the DDA to deliver primarily on agriculture. We want to encourage all ASEAN members to engage more actively.

On EU-ASEAN trade relations, we need to raise our game not least in view of the impact of ASEAN/Australian and Japanese FTAs on European business interests in the region.

We need to send a clear message of our engagement in the region. The DDA is our highest priority but it is not our only priority. Time to consider priorities after Hong Kong and to start preparations for the future.

I regard Asia as an important economic and political priority for the EU. Agreed with ASEAN Economic Ministers during our meeting in Vietnam to create a high-level "Vision Group" to investigate the feasibility of an EU/ASEAN FTA. This will start work soon.

Without commitment to a specific pre-judged for the negotiations - regional, bilateral and sub regional.

5. EU-US Negotiations on Large Civil Aircraft

I have stressed on many occasions that I do not believe it is desirable, appropriate or necessary to ask the WTO to referee Boeing and Airbus’ commercial rivalry. I think that subsidies to both sides can be reduced and even eliminated in time, but this can only be achieved by negotiation not litigation. Indeed I would go further in suggesting that we could spend years in expensive, distracting litigation, only to come back to negotiation when this process is finished. Of course we shall take a case to the WTO should the US ‘shoot’ first, as Boeing is actively campaigning for. They are clearly in the driving seat of this manouver.

–Boeing seem determined to get their retaliation in first, in view of the systematic and persistent subsidisation of the Company over many years by a variety of government sources. I sought and engaged in serious negotiations with a view to securing a balanced and equitable agreement regarding subsidies for both companies. I was not responsible for these talks being stopped.

We remain committed and prepared to negotiate a balanced, phased agreement. Nobody realistically imagines we can make comprehensive changes in one single, swift step. The picture is far too complex for that. The new USTR, Mr. Portman, agrees that a negotiated solution remains the most desirable option. I intend to continue exploring the prospects of an amicable solution with him while fully defending Europe’s legitimate interests.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Mandy Just Cannot resist Temptation

Why does this man remind me in a strange way of Oscar Wilde? Though I doubt he has as much wit and humour, he just...does.

He's gone and done it again:

Commissioners Under Fire for Luxury Trips

The EU is putting Mandelson's trip under the microscope

Barroso denied the trip interfered with this work

The chief of the EU Commission and the body's trade commissioner are under fire for letting powerful friends invite them on all-expenses paid trips.

If Germany's Die Welt newspaper is to be believed, both Jose Manuel Barroso and Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson accepted trips worth tens of thousands of euros that were paid for by other people.

The daily reported that Barroso and Mandelson admitted as much in a closed-door session -- sans staff and translators --with the commission's 23 other members. The two were pushed to admit to the trips after Nigel Farage, a European parliamentarian, demanded each commission member provide a list of so-called "hospitalities" others provided to them.

Barroso reportedly admitted to taking a cruise worth 20,000 euros ($25,900) with his wife last August on a luxury yacht belonging to an old university friend. His spokeswoman on Monday said he denied any wrongdoing.

"It was outside the framework of his professional functions," Francoise Le Bail told reporters, according to Reuters. The friend, Spiro Latsis, studied together with Barroso, she said. Also along on the trip was a university professor friend. Le Bail said that the trip did not breach European Union rules related to conflict of interest.

"There is not one bit of contact between the Latsis Group and the commission," she said.

Jamaica trip under microscope

That might not hold true for Peter Mandelson (photo). The British trade commissioner told the commission meeting that he had accepted a private trip to Jamaica.

Le Bail said the EU was "currently looking at the details."

Mandelson served as the UK's trade and industry secretary in 1998 and Northern Ireland secretary from 1999-2001 under British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He resigned from each cabinet position after being accused of improper financial dealings.

Farage belongs to the EU-skeptical UK Independent Party, which has been campaigning for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. He is known in the parliament as a fierce opponent of Barroso, once blasting the "breathtaking arrogance" of the Barroso commission's plans to pass the new EU Constitution without ratification of the member states.

DW staff (dre)


Friday, March 11, 2005

Mandelson, Boeing & Airbus

The debate, much less heated now, rages on between the US and the EU over Boeing and Airbus. The crux of the argument has to do with subsidies, and it appears, accoridng to this article from that

" The United States and the European Union gave themselves until April 11 to agree on new subsidy definitions and avoid mutual arbitration at the World Trade Organization, which may have outlawed financial supports for both Boeing and Airbus"

Mandelson claims he wants to resolve the issue, (whilst he busily liberalises elsewhere--cf Ukraine...see below).

Mandelson & Ukraine Textiles

According to an article by United Press International, the EU and Ukraine signed a bilateral agreement Wednesday to "remove remaining restrictions on trade in textiles"

Mandelson argues that:

"This agreement is an important step in strengthening and liberalizing the economic and trading relationship between the EU and the Ukraine," and that

"It should pave the way for more far-reaching economic links that can benefit both partners."


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On Zoellick, CAFTA, and...hey, here's Mandy!

Well, not surprisingly, Mandelson -- true to form as EU Trade Commissioner -- is calling for the US to nominate their trade person, short of the Doha round of trade talks failing come Hong Kong in Dec 2005:

"Last month, Peter Mandelson, the EU's chief trade negotiator, warned that a serious breakdown in the Doha talks was a possibility unless rapid progress was made. He urged the Bush administration to quickly appoint a replacement for Zoellick"

Meanwhile, the article provides some interesting pointers:
  • During Zoellick's tenure, Washington completed free trade agreements with Singapore, Chile, Australia and Morocco. The U.S. is also targeting free-trade pacts with India, Panama, the Southern African Customs Union and a United Emirates and Oman.

  • Josette Shiner, deputy U.S. Trade Representative is in consideration for the post. Gary Edson, a former White House economic and national security adviser is also seen as a candidate.

  • Not that any of this domestic stuff has much to do with Mandelson really, but still, a re-united US-EU position at the WTO will do plenty to wreck things for the AU-LDCs-ACP group.


    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    Mandelson is in Kenya

    According to IRIN news, featured on, Mandelson is urging the issue of agriculture to still be placed in the table :

    ""On agriculture, there is still a lot of discussion and negotiation to go and I want that to continue," Peter Mandelson, the European Union's (EU's) trade commissioner, told a news conference."

    Also, to give the impression to developing country officials that he does care about those countrie's needs he has "called on all industrialised countries to join the EU in committing themselves to providing duty and quota-free market access to the least developed countries (LDCs)."

    This meeting is one of many scheduled meetings that will "give political guidance and cement political will in the trade negotiation process ahead of another major ministerial conference in Hong Kong later this year"


    George Monbiot hits hard against Eurocrats...

    ...and Mandelson is yet again cited:

    "Men like him, and Mandelson and Jose Manuel Barroso, have done a better job of sabotaging the European project than any number of Kilroys or Le Pens."

    from: Even scarier than Kilroy //A coup against social Europe has been foiled - for the time being ;,9321,1432821,00.html

    An article in the "Guardian" reminding us about Mandelson's past

    "He expressed frustration with the failure of government ministers to accept accountability for their mistakes or scandals, and cited Peter Mandelson - twice forced to resign from the Cabinet - and the war in Iraq as reasons why the electorate had lost faith in politicians.

    He told "Had Margaret Hodge and others like Mandelson shown recognition of their past behaviour then I wouldn't be standing for election"

    Oh dear. Tut tut. Now and again, something to remind us of Peter Mandelson's past...

    I strongly suspect someone, somewhere, is probably waiting for him to live up to the "bad things happen in threes" adage, and be forced to resign from his EU Trade Commissioner post, too...


    An interesting article on PR--Who pays the bills for spinning the news?

    Who pays the bills for spinning the news? Mar 8 2005
    By Andy Kelly, Daily Post

    PETER MANDELSON, Alastair Campbell and Jo Moore - perhaps the three most infamous purveyors of government "spin" in the last decade.

    The latter, of course, took her profession to new heights of cynicism by suggesting September 11, 2001, would be a good day for civil servants to bury bad news. An appalled nation made sure she paid for it with her job.

    But you do not have to go as far as the halls of Westminster to see the art of news management and "spin" in action.

    READ MORE here