Friday, June 22, 2007

They put the "DOH" in Doha!!

When I first caught the bloggin' bug doing a guest gig on Marginal Revolution, I posted about the dicey prospects of concluding the Doha trade round. Yesterday, a new effort which consisted of the US, EU, Brazil and India negotiating on reducing agricultural subsidies in the US and EU also failed.

The US blamed Brazil & India saying in effect that you gotta give something to get something and Brazil & India absolutely wouldn't give anything.

The Indian trade minister countered by pointing out that while the US had lowered their offer for capping agricultural subsidies to $17 billion (from $22 billion), the current level of said subsidies is around $11 billion. He said such an offer had "no logic or equity". Nicely played sir!!

The US is playing out Rorden Wilkenson's script of ratcheting up the rhetoric:

Now, the U.S. trade representative, Susan Schwab, will head to Geneva, where she will meet with the WTO director general, Pascal Lamy, and appeal to other developing countries to pressure Brazil and India for new concessions that would jump-start the round. "We are absolutely determined not to give up on the Doha round," Schwab said.

and also this:

"Large economies like Brazil and India should not stand in the way
of progress for smaller, poor developing nations - but that appears
to be what happened in Germany this week," Tony Fratto, a
White House spokesman, said.

I really think Doha is done and agree with Dani R that its not such a big deal.