Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Two from the Times

A couple Customs & Border Protection and trade law related stories made it into the New York Times today. Here is the short version of each.

Customs has implemented rules barring the importation of ancient Cypriot coins under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (see 19 USC secs. 2601-13 for the details). Under the Convention, the U.S. can enter into bilateral agreements to prohibit traffic in archaeological and ethnological artifacts. The interesting thing in this case is that coins are usually excluded because they were often widely circulated and proving provenance can be difficult. This restriction, according to the article, has the numismatic world all upset.

The second article has to do with the last ditch effort WTO boss Pascal Lamy is making to save the Doha round from collapse. The pitch simply involves floating a proposal wherein U.S. and other farm subsidies would go down a bit more than the U.S. planned and, in return, duties on manufactured goods would go down elsewhere. We'll see. This round of talks has been harder to finish off than an extra in a George Romero movie. Stay tuned.

Are Pascal Lamy and George Romero the two people least likely to be mentioned in the same blog post?

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