Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's hard to leave when you can't find the Doha

Danny D eulogizes, but does not bury, Doha.

And a nice post on WTO and Doha from PKK.

His conclusion:

In total, a number of countries must share responsibility for the breakdown. Brazil and other Third World food exporters probably were too ambitious on behalf of the developed countries, India refused to accept more competition in its comparatively weak industries, and the US position remained opaque while the country for too long hid behind the protectionist positions of other member states. However, the bottom line is that the main culprit - the member bearing most of the responsibility - is the European Union. The problem continues to be that the official policy of the union is controlled by Southern European countries with strong agricultural lobbies - and the policy is therefore rather clearly dictated by Paris. French top politicians have throughout the negotiations ‘protected’ French farmers against cuts in tariffs or support measures - Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin both went on air in national media to ensure their voters that France would veto any liberalization - which makes the country the Global Public Enemy Number One. Yet, another part of the story that needs to be told is that other EU members also made an indirect effort. The EU as a whole and traditionally liberalist countries such as the UK and Denmark in particular are all accomplices. We are guilty of both crimes and misdemeanours but the worst crime of them all is that we are actively preventing poor countries from gaining extra opportunities to lift themselves out of deep poverty. If justice exists in this world, future historians will not look kindly on today’s political letdown.

(just so it doesn't drive you crazy, song snippet in the title is from Joe Walsh's "Life's Been Good to Me". I bring it up because that song has one of the very best list of misheard lyrics. Hilarious).