World Perspectives

Plurilaterals for NTBs; Leaky Law; Big State Power

Plurilateral for NTBs Australia has launched an effort to address the nontariff trade barriers (NTBs) its exporters face. The Aussie beef industry says NTBs cost it A$3.4 billion per year and the nation’s grain growers curated a list of 54 such barriers across 15 markets. But there is no reason for Australia to go it alone with its plan. As it is, the U.S. government is unwilling to expend resources on foreign trade barriers if the cost of litigation is significantly higher than the economic benefit to be gained. This leaves many pesky and collectively burdensome barriers free to obstruct and hinder trade. Other agricultural exporting nations face the same barriers and there would be both greater political leverage and economies of s...

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Illuminating the value of technical research

On behalf of a commodity producer organization, WPI evaluated the outputs from a project that featured a $5 million investment into technical research over multiple years. WPI’s team captured the results of this extensive effort and synthesized them for presentation to the organization’s governing board; among the findings uncovered and presented for the first time was the development of genomic traits proven, via rigorous testing, to provide crop yield advantages of 50 percent or more to U.S. farmers in times of drought. Capturing measurable results from long-term efforts can be challenging. Educating clients on the dynamics of success measurement when quantifiable results are not readily available requires deep client-consultant collaboration and an ability to consider both near- and long-term client aspirations with market/policy dynamics – attributes that WPI brings to every consulting engagement.

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