Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Energy - EU, NAFTA and the WTO

Energy trade is a key activity that is unlikely to receive the priority it deserves at Hong Kong in December (the 6th Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation).

To illustrate the difficulties in store, the Institute for International Economics have this month published a book on the experience with NAFTA - a regional trade agreement. There is an alarming chapter on North America's difficulty in achieving common energy policies. Of the three nations (Canada, Mexico and the US), Canada seems to be the most liberal.

The fractiousness in NAFTA bodes ill for a common energy policy for the European Union's 25 nations.


A summit of European leaders was held 27 October 2005 in London. A broad endorsement was given to the recommendations of the UK presidency, reports the FT.

The recommendations included: "A new European energy strategy, creating an integrated grid, developing a nuclear policy and pooling EU purchasing power". However details are few, although a Newsletter from the EC's 'DG Energy & Transport' will no doubt be issued. Who will meet the costs of the energy security is clearly an important issue - national public sectors, the private sector, or a new financing arrangement.
Thanks for your comments.

I wasn't really criticizing the EU but rather pointing to various issues that surface from interconnectivity be it regional or global.

Also, thanks for the link to the IIE book. I will look it through, especially the chapter on NAFTA's difficulty in coming up with a common energy policy as you suggested.
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