Transparency doesn’t just mean making information available. It means making it accessible and understandable
Rabbit hole noun
A complexly bizarre or difficult state or situation conceived of as a hole into which one falls or descends — I wanted to show this woman descending into the rabbit hole: this loss of self, becoming a servant to her job and to the work — Jessica Chastain
Especially : One in which the pursuit of something (such as an answer or solution) leads to other questions, problems, or pursuits — While trying to find the picture again on Google, I fell down the Cosmo rabbit hole, scrolling through a gallery of swimwear, then through “How to Be Sexier-Instantly” and then through all 23 slides of “Sexy Ideas for Long Hair.” — Edith Zimmerman
By Peter Ungphakorn POSTED JUNE 8, 2021 | UPDATED JUNE 9, 2021
This is a cautionary tale about just how difficult it is to crack the secret codes of trade agreements. We can ask a simple question: how will the agreement change trade in a particular product. To reach the answer we often have to venture out into a wonderland of obscure paths and hidden traps.
The British government shouldn’t spoil the achievements of the deal by making exaggerated claims
By Peter Ungphakorn POSTED OCTOBER 26, 2020 | UPDATED JANUARY 25, 2021
Britain’s new trade agreement with Japan contains some improvements over the EU-Japan deal it rolls over, but some of London’s claims don’t stand up to scrutiny.
“It’s a roll-over of the EU deal with extra bits. And that’s a success too. That’s still better than we thought we’re going to get. Why not just say that?” tweeted trade advisor Anna Jerzewska.
She was commenting on the claim by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss that this “first trade agreement” for Britain “as an independent trading nation” has “major wins that would be impossible as part of the EU.”
The UK has agreed to keep EU names protected, but what about UK names in the EU?
By Peter Ungphakorn POSTED AUGUST 29, 2020 | UPDATED JANUARY 10, 2021
News that Britain wanted to renegotiate a deal struck in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement on geographical indications — names such as Scotch whisky, Melton Mowbray pies, Cognac and Roquefort cheese — has triggered a discussion about what exactly was agreed, what wasn’t included and why not.
A report in The Guardian (echoing some earler reports) said the EU was “flabbergasted” that the UK wanted to water down the deal on geographical indications. “It’s just not going to happen,” the report quoted an EU official as saying.
The public discussion of the Appellate Body crisis in the World Trade Organization (WTO) has revealed some fundamental misunderstandings about how governments’ actions on trade are handled in the organisation.
This is important. The WTO is now a quarter of a century old. Its real achievements are hardly noticed. They never hit the headlines.
Instead, the impression we get is that it’s all about the dispute settlement crisis (and previously the struggle to conclude negotiations).
We might have to wait an awfully long time, because keeping international trade within agreed rules relies on much more than dispute settlement. In fact a key purpose of the WTO is to keep formal disputes to a minimum, and it does a pretty good job at that.
People’s views of geographical indications range from cherishing them as precious cultural heritage and commercial property, to annoyance and scorn. They are complicated. Every argument has a counter-argument
By Peter Ungphakorn POSTED MAY 5, 2018 | FIRST PUBLISHED ON UK TRADE FORUM APRIL 3, 2018 | UPDATED JANUARY 10, 2021