Saturday, April 21, 2012

On enterprise and legal certainty in the 2012 world

"Argentina's "unilateral and arbitrary" decision amounts to an attack on the exercise of the free enterprise and the principle of legal certainty" says a resolution adopted by The European Parliament on Friday.

The EP also says that the European Commission should use all appropriate dispute settlement tools available at the WTO and G20 to respond to Argentina's "unilateral and arbitrary" decision to expropriate the YPF energy company.

Whereas I am not taking sides because I am not aware of the full details of the specific issue that involve a private company (and a formerly private one), here are my POLICY related comments.

1) Does Cristina Elisabet Fern├índez de Kirchner's (Argentina's President) concept of national sovereignty vs David Cameron's one. Compare and contrast.

2) Not sure WTO rules cover such issues (as well as many other global economic ones). Is the EU asking the WTO to become an agency of global economic "governance" (compare and contrast issue with the issue of "economic governance in the Eurozone). What can G20 do or can do withiu its present and appropriate role? This case is maybe one more reason in favour  what I have been arguing re EU and US exit from the WTO and reliance on bilateral full topic agreements (covering trade, investment, economics, immigration, etc) between eg the EU and Argentina or EU and Mercosur or UNASUR.

3) Re the EP's claim that "Argentina's "unilateral and arbitrary" decision amounts to an attack on the exercise of the free enterprise and the principle of legal certainty. Are there not many many other factor that "attack" free enterprise and especially legal certainty inside the EU and the Eurozone? Such are polynomia (over-legislation) and red tape? Eg the absence of EU direct tax competency and laws?

4) I have commented before that the G20 membership is high on anti-protectionist rhetoric and low on reality,  with many and significant hidden protectionist practices and barriers to trade.

Thus, no matter who is "right" in this case, this case serves as yet another food for thought stimulus for the policy issues I raised above.

PS. I have argued that given the global dynamics it is maybe time for the EU to raise its walls (economic fortress), rely on bilateral agreements, not WTO (see China effect) and develop a common and humanist immigration policy for economic immigrants (after all, the EU27 population is ageing and needs external population boost, for reason including the viability of its Social Model). Bilateral economic agreements are a good place to include bilateral economic immigration agreements.

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