Text to the Transpacific Partnership came out today. I have yet to go through it fully. It is massive and it can be technical. It is worse than Sejarah Melayu. It will take time. Nevertheless, I attended a briefing at the trade ministry earlier today and I think I understand the gist of the most important chapters. My somewhat […]

Joseph Stigliz argues that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will disrupt pre-existing efficient Asian supply chain.[1] That essentially suggests that the TPP creates trade diversion away from non-TPP Asian countries. While this argument is true if it stands in isolation, it is not applicable for Malaysia. This is because Malaysia already maintains free trade deals with […]

I have previously highlighted the cost of Malaysia not participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is a proposed free trade agreement among 12 countries across the Pacific. The cost comes in the form of trade diversion. I have only mentioned the qualitative aspect however. While it is good to know that, having quantitative assessment of the […]

As negotiations progress, opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is getting louder in Malaysia. The opposition camp is focusing on possible loss of policy independence arising from the implementation of the TPP and its potential cost to ordinary Malaysians. While their concerns are legitimate and deserve attention, it is also important to know that there […]

Several new points were raised with regards to my post on duties and cars yesterday. One was pollution, two was government revenue and three, in one way or another, income effect. It is not exactly income effect but close enough. Concern number one is easy. But let us state the pollution concern. The concern is […]

I advocate the abolition, or at least a significant reduction of import duties (and other excessive taxes) on cars as well as the abolition of the approved permits system that blow up the prices of foreign-manufactured cars to an outrageous level. This should come at no surprise because I am a libertarian. I do generally support freer […]

It appears that protectionist sentiment within the steel industry just will not just die down. Earlier last year, Megasteel unsuccessfully lobbied for a levy on steel imports. That was shot down because users of steel protested. Megasteel, being the sole domestic producer of flat steel (used mainly for vehicles and major appliances), in its eagerness […]

I understand the case for the breaking up of the Eurozone. I do appreciate the virtue behind a flexible exchange rate, especially for cases like Greece. There is a need for rebalancing that a monetary union cannot provide. Yet, I am uneasy at the suggestion of a break-up, of Grexit, because deep inside of me, […]

The Food and Agriculture Organisation recently warned food prices are at record levels in both nominal and real terms since the entity first published its Food Price Index in 1990. The International Monetary Fund stated this is unlikely to be a temporary trend. Rice generally has not shown the kind of increase exhibited by other […]

On December 7 in the Parliament, based on the Hansard, Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry Jacob Dungau Sagan was asked whether the government intends to abolish a policy that grants exclusive permits for imports to limited entities and effectively, the granting of monopoly power to several companies over certain commodities such as sugar […]

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