Peter Ungphakorn Profile picture
Mainly trade stuff. After WTO Secretariat 1996-2015, back (occasionally) in journalism. Usual disclaimers on RT etc.
Fionna O'LEARY  Profile picture Hugh 3.5% 🕷 #FBPE Profile picture Jeffrey Rubinoff Profile picture Birger Leth Profile picture FmcD Profile picture 7 added to My Authors
8 May
COVID-19 IN SWITZERLAND. Week to 08.05.2021—slight improvement

Last easing Apr 19

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 wks
● cases—7757 & 267 (⬆️)
● in hospital—321 & 8 (⬇️)
● deaths—117 & 1.2 (⬆️)

R(e): down—0.85
Vaccinations: 3m (1m 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on reprod...
AND FOR THE PAST FORTNIGHT, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. J&J approved, not ordered. Supply picking up. Not yet approved: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of Reproductive ...
VIRUS VARIANTS detected

UK variant dominant

Public Health Office: covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
Science Task Force: sciencetaskforce.ch/en/nextstrain-…

3/10 Screenshot of list of varia...Screenshot of graph of esti...
Read 10 tweets
5 May
Notes:

1. Tai supports the waiver for COVID-19 *vaccines*. The waiver proposal is for all products related to the pandemic: medicines, testing kits, PPE, ventilators, etc

2. She anticipates a long negotiation, suggesting the US *might* be seeking constraints or conditions
3. The proposed waiver is not only for patents, which already have flexibilities such as compulsory licensing, but also three other areas, which don't—copyright, industrial designs and trade secrets.

It will be interesting to see if the US accepts waiving all four areas
Read 7 tweets
4 May
Thanks, but I have reservations.

I'm happy to read about where policies might be going wrong, to discuss whether the characterisation of the ideologies behind trade liberalisation are correct.

But is the WTO is only of that ideology? The leap to "WTO reform" is illogical

1/5
1. It's false to assume that "rules-based" (p8) means the same as "liberalisation". You can have "rules-based" trade barriers and indeed the WTO agreements allow for many. Some argue that having predictable rules is more valuable than lowering tariffs that are already low.

2/5
2. Which highlights the fact that WTO agreements—the outcome of negotiations—are a compromise between different interests and different ideologies. The WTO system does not come from just one ideology.

That makes the paper's notion of "WTO reform" quite off target.

3/5
Read 5 tweets
3 May
Several news stories on the WTO website today, some from meetings late last week. Here are 3.

1. Today's meeting. Director-general @NOIweala said the most feasible priorities for delivery at the year-end ministerial conference were emerging.

1/11

wto.org/english/news_e…
Today's meeting was both a formal Trade Negotiations Committee and informal heads of delegations—unclear how that works since "formal" is on the record with minutes and "informal" is off the record with no minutes.

2/11

wto.org/english/news_e…
The "concrete deliverables": curbing fisheries subsidies; agricultural issues; and trade, health and the COVID-19 pandemic

On fisheries subsides the news story is not specific, except she spoke of "light at the end of the tunnel" and a deal by July

3/11

wto.org/english/news_e…
Read 11 tweets
1 May
COVID-19 IN SWITZERLAND. Week to 01.05.2021—flat/slightly better

Last easing April 19

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—7634 & 210⬇️
● in hospital—317 & 9 —
● deaths—116 & 1.1⬆️

R(e): down—0.98
Vaccinations: 2.6m (930K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases with data and chartScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations with datScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths with data and charScreenshot of box on reproductive number Re (lag in calculat
AND FOR THE PAST FORTNIGHT, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. J&J approved, not ordered. Supply picking up. Not yet approved: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases (past fortnight) wiScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations (past foScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths (past fortnight) wScreenshot of Reproductive number since 28.09.2020
VIRUS VARIANTS detected

UK variant dominant

Public Health Office: covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
Science Task Force: sciencetaskforce.ch/en/nextstrain-…

3/10 Screenshot of list of variants and numbers identified (PubliScreenshot of graph of estimated proportion of relevant variScreenshot: Task Force graph of estimated percentage of B.1.Screenshot: Task Force graph of estimated percentage of S.50
Read 10 tweets
30 Apr
RECAP, IN A THREAD—TRADE TRANSPARENCY

1/17 THE MEANING isn’t so clear

With the clamour for reform, #WTOtransparency needs re-examining. @wto and its members should do better

A 4-part analysis with @BobWolfeSPS (+ great photos by @JayLouvion) #WTOreform

tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/wto…
2/17 Should @wto members pay more attention to external transparency?

Our recommendations are in tweet 16. Our reasons are in the rest of this thread, and the linked pieces.

#WTOtransparency #WTOreform

SHORT VERSION: tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/wto…
3/17 TRANSPARENCY

A WTO aim—reliable info about governments’ rules and practices reduces uncertainty about trade.

Also makes taxpayers’ money accountable.

But *occasionally* too much public info can impede work in the WTO

#WTOtransparency #WTOreform

tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/wto…
Read 17 tweets
26 Apr
NEW with @BobWolfeSPS

Short and long reads on WTO and transparency as part of #WTOreform

It all be began light-heartedly here on trade Twitter. But digging deeper into the topic reveals the complexity. Transparency is more than it seems.

SHORT READ: tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/wto…
NEW: WTO, trade and transparency, with @BobWolfeSPS

“We have a particular interest in the prospects for successful reform of the WTO and its negotiations. Would more transparency help? Would less?”

LONG READ PART 1 tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/wto…
…One minister insisted the draft mustn’t be released until approved. Next moment, delegates from that country were in the press room giving copies to favoured journalists…

What does this say about #WTOtransparency? And leaks?

Part 2 tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2021/04/26/wto…

With @BobWolfeSPS
Read 4 tweets
24 Apr
COVID-19 IN SWITZERLAND. Week to 24.04.2021—cases up, deaths down

Last easing April 19

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—7479 & 326⬆️
● in hospital—311 & 9⬇️
● deaths—115 & 0.9⬇️

R(e): down—1.0
Vaccinations: 2.3m (823K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on reprod...
AND FOR THE PAST FORTNIGHT, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. J&J approved, not ordered. Supply picking up. Not yet approved: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of Reproductive ...
VIRUS VARIANTS detected

UK variant dominant

Public Health Office: covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
Science Task Force: sciencetaskforce.ch/en/nextstrain-…

3/10 Screenshot of list of varia...Screenshot of graph of esti...Screenshot: Task Force grap...Screenshot: Task Force grap...
Read 10 tweets
17 Apr
COVID-19 IN SWITZERLAND. Week to 17.04.2021—cases up, deaths down

Next easing April 19

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—7315 & 306
● in hospital—305 & 10
● deaths—114 & 1.1

R(e): up—1.14
Vaccinations: 2.0m (733K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on reprod...
AND FOR THE PAST FORTNIGHT, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. J&J approved, not ordered. Supply picking up. Approval waiting: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of box on lab-co...Screenshot of Reproductive ...
VIRUS VARIANTS detected

UK variant ~80%

Public Health Office: covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
Science Task Force: sciencetaskforce.ch/en/nextstrain-…

3/10 Screenshot of list of varia...Screenshot of graph of esti...Screenshot: Task Force grap...Screenshot: Task Force grap...
Read 10 tweets
10 Apr
COVID-19 in Switzerland. Week to 10.04.2021—numbers still rising

Next easing delayed

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—6851 & 285
● in hospital—287 & 10
● deaths—111 & 1.4

R(e): down—0.97
Vaccinations: 1.7m (645K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases with data and chartScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations with datScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths with data and charScreenshot of box on reproductive number Re (lag in calculat
And for the past fortnight, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. Supply picking up. Still waiting for approval: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases (past fortnight) wiScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations (past foScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths (past fortnight) wScreenshot of Reproductive number since 28.09.2020
Vaccinations and virus variants

“Fully” = 2nd dose
Steady growth, deliveries up
Delivered: 2.2m=26% (from 2.1m)
Administered: 1.7m=20% (from 1.4m)
Fully: 645K=7.5% (from 577K)

UK variant ~80%

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…

3/10 Screenshot of vaccinations data and graphics, past 28 daysChart of development over time of delivered and administeredScreenshot of list of variants and numbers identifiedScreenshot of graph of estimated proportion of relevant vari
Read 10 tweets
8 Apr
#TradeNerdsCorner

1. India has notified WTO members that it exceeded its trade-distorting subsidy entitlement for rice in marketing year 2019/20.

docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/S…

1/4 Image
Developing countries’ limits for trade-distorting farm support = 10% of value of production.

India’s $6.3bn for rice exceeds the $4.6bn limit (10% of $46bn in footnote 2)

This was for buying into food security stocks, so it escapes legal challenge

docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/S…

2/4 Image
#TradeNerdsCorner

2. Did Trump’s subsidies for American farmers exceed US limits in the WTO?

No, says the latest US notification for 2018/19. Total trade-distorting support was $13bn. The limit is $19bn.

Why?

docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/S…

3/4 Image
Read 5 tweets
3 Apr
COVID-19 in Switzerland. Week to 03.04.2021—numbers still rise except deaths

Easing delayed

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—6851 & 278
● in hospital—287 & 8
● deaths—111 & 1.2

R(e): down—1.12
Vaccinations: 1.5m (577K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases with data and chartScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations with datScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths with data and charScreenshot of box on reproductive number Re (lag in calculat
And for the past fortnight, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. Supply picking up. Still waiting for approval: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases (past fortnight) wiScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations (past foScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths (past fortnight) wScreenshot of Reproductive number since 28.09.2020
Vaccinations and virus variants

“Fully” = second dose
Steady growth, deliveries up
Delivered: 2.1m=23.9% (from 1.7m)
Administered: 1.4m=17.8% (from 1.2m)
Fully: 577K=6.7% (from 507K)

UK variant ~80%

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…

3/10 Screenshot of vaccinations data and graphics, past 28 daysChart of development over time of delivered and administeredScreenshot of list of variants and numbers identifiedScreenshot of graph of estimated proportion of relevant vari
Read 10 tweets
27 Mar
A group of countries has proposed a WTO ministerial declaration on sanitary/phytosanitary (SPS) measures (food safety, animal/plant health) in trade

The target is the year-end ministerial conference.

The draft has some intriguing points … 🍗🥩

docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/S…

1/4
1. The WTO SPS Agreement is “as relevant and applicable today as [ever], and [continues] to safeguard the right for Members to take measures necessary for the protection of human, animal or plant life or health”

The SPS Committee improves implementation via transparency

2/4
2. But the world is changing. The draft proposes a new work programme (don’t yawn)—but not negotiating new obligations or amending the SPS Agreement

3. Interesting: the countries NOT on the list—eg EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, UK. Why? …

docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/S…

3/4
Read 5 tweets
27 Mar
COVID-19 in Switzerland. Week to 27.03.2021—numbers rising except deaths

Next easing delayed

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—6851 & 244
● in hospital—287 & 7
● deaths—111 & 1.3

R(e): up—1.14
Vaccinations: 1.4m (507K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases with data and chartScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations with datScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths with data and charScreenshot of box on reproductive number Re (lag in calculat
And for the past fortnight, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. Pfizer supply delayed. Still waiting for approval: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases (past fortnight) wiScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations (past foScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths (past fortnight) wScreenshot of Reproductive number since 28.09.2020
Vaccinations, virus variants

“Fully” = second dose
Steady growth, deliveries up
Delivered: 1.7m=19.8% (from 1.4m)
Administered: 1.4m=15.6% (from 1.2m)
Fully: 507K=5.9% (from 433K)

UK variant ~70%

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…

3/10 Screenshot of vaccinations data and graphics, past 28 daysChart of development over time of delivered and administeredScreenshot of list of variants and numbers identifiedScreenshot of graph of estimated proportion of relevant vari
Read 10 tweets
26 Mar
Moutier will vote on Sunday for the ninth time in 71 years on whether it wants to belong to the French-speaking canton of Jura or stay with German-speaking Bern.

@swissinfo_en traces the history back to deals struck at the post-Napoleon Vienna Conference

swissinfo.ch/eng/moutier--t…
The count at Moutier is live streamed: facebook.com/watch/live/?v=…

Ballots closed at noon. Counting began close to13:00. 3½ hours later and they're still counting.

Moutier has a population of 7,500. Last time about 4,000 voted.

And they're still counting. Checking every voter?
And finally the result. Moutier is set to leave Bern and join Jura by 2114 votes for, 1740 against.

rts.ch/info/12066705-…
Read 4 tweets
25 Mar
Ultra-geek on trade:

EU deals with two more countries on its tariff quota commitments in the WTO (implications for UK)

Pakistan (unchanged, negotiating rights acknowledged): data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/S…

Australia beef, sheepmeat, cheeses, rice, cane sugar: data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/S…
And more details on what has been agreed so far here: tradebetablog.wordpress.com/technical-note…

Pakistan: the EU acknowledges that Pakistan is negotiating with Britain for a larger UK quota.

Australia ⬇️
Read 4 tweets
22 Mar
What is the Ottawa Group? What is it proposing?

Led by Canada, it includes Australia, Brazil, Chile, EU, Japan, Kenya, S.Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and now UK

It originated in a meeting of ministers in Ottawa in 2018, then Davos early 2019

1/4
As several have pointed out, calling for "WTO reform" is easy. Agreeing on what it means is much more difficult.

The Ottawa Group's most recent activity in the WTO has been a proposed declaration on COVID-19 and trade docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/S…

2/4
On other issues eg reforming WTO disputes, the group does not have a common position

Several have signed up to using arbitration as an alternative to appealing while the Appellate Body cannot function

So far the UK is only on one of these: docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/S…

3/4
Read 5 tweets
20 Mar
COVID-19 in Switzerland. Week to 20.03.2021—numbers rising

Next easing delayed

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—6706 & 208
● in hospital—282 & 6
● deaths—110 & 1.4

R(e): up—1.13
Vaccinations: 1.2m (433K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases with data and chartScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations with datScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths with data and charScreenshot of box on reproductive number Re (lag in calculat
And for the past fortnight, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. Pfizer supply delayed. Still waiting for approval: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases (past fortnight) wiScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations (past foScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths (past fortnight) wScreenshot of Reproductive number since 28.09.2020
Vaccination data and virus variants

“Fully” = second dose (where required)

Slow, steady (linear) growth
Delivered: 1.4m=15.5% (from 1.2m)
Administered: 1.2m=13.7% (from 884K)
Fully: 433K (from 300K)

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…

3/10 https://www.covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiologic/vacc-dosesChart of development over time of delivered and administeredScreenshot of list of variants and numbers identifiedScreenshot of graph of estimated proportion of relevant vari
Read 10 tweets
13 Mar
COVID-19 in Switzerland. Week to 13.03.2021—cases, R up again

Govt limited easing Mar 1

Per 100K pop, total & last 2 weeks
● cases—6601 & 177
● in hospital—278 & 5
● deaths—109 & 1.2

R(e): up—1.08
Vaccinations: 1.0m (369K 2nd doses)

FOPH covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…

1/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases with data and chartScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations with datScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths with data and charScreenshot of box on Reproductive number Re (lag in calculat
And for the past fortnight, R(e) since Sep28

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna mRNA vaccinations ongoing. Pfizer supply delayed. Still waiting for approval: AstraZeneca, Curevac and Novavax. Switzerland has ordered over 30m doses for 8m people

2/10 Screenshot of box on lab-confirmed cases (past fortnight) wiScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed hospitalisations (past foScreenshot of box on lab-confirmed deaths (past fortnight) wScreenshot of Reproductive number since 28.09.2020
Vaccination data and virus variants

(Chart: past 28 days)

“Fully” = receiving second dose (where required)

Slow
Delivered: 1.2m=13.8% (from 976K) (up-tick). Administered: 884K=10.2% (from 651K). Fully: 300K (from 221K)

covid19.admin.ch/en/overview?ov…
covid19.admin.ch/en/epidemiolog…

3/10 Screenshot of vaccinations data and graphics, past 28 daysScreenshot of list of variants and numbers identifiedScreenshot of graph of estimated proportion of relevant vari
Read 10 tweets
10 Mar
What’s happening with the EU’s (and UK’s) tariff-quota commitments in the WTO?

We now have one set of data to look at

REMINDERS:

1. This is part of the Brexit process in the WTO:
—new commitments for the UK
—amended EU commitments

Explanation: tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/hap…

1/9
2. Tariff quotas = low/zero import duty inside the quotas + much higher duty outside

3. Pre-Bexit: a single set of EU28 tariff quotas (because of the customs union) legally binding in the WTO.

Post-Brexit: separate UK and EU27 quotas

Explanation: tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/hap…

2/9
4. UK and EU want EU27+UK quotas = EU28 quotas

5. Other countries objected. Requires negotiation with both the UK and the EU (under GATT Art.28)

See: wto.org/english/news_e…

3/9
Read 11 tweets