Friday, 6 June 2008

Doha ad infinitum


World trade talks are dull enough even to make only passing mentions in the serious media, let alone getting near the television news. Big Brother need not worry over its ratings.

However, the latest round of trade talks, called Doha after the city at which they were launched, are close to falling over. With the US presidential election in sight, the US trade representative has little wiggle room. Also India and China flex their muscles more these days and are not prepared to do deals. The EU too, as always never keen to give up farm subsidies, is not a leader of the pack.

All in all, the outlook is bleak and it could be years before there is another free trade agreement. All of which is a shame as a new agreement is exactly what the world needs to help it through the bad economic situation in which it finds itself.

The growth of protectionsim is no good for anyone, not poor african farmers who cannot access foreign markets and not UK banks, caught by protectionist US rules.

Still at least Europe is represented by one of our foremost minds and most capable leaders, Peter Mandelson. Surely if anyone can get an agreement going it is an ex-communist, who twice had to leave the UK government on sleaze grounds?

13 comments:

Old BE said...

If only NL were ex-communists. They are full blown reds, even now - especially Brown and Straw. These people really worry me.

Prodicus said...

A CV like that makes Mandelson the perfect EU Commissar. Sorry. Commissioner.

Anonymous said...

Don't they count as Reds - it's more that they've combined the Authoritarian tendancies of the communists with the pro-big-business tendancies of the right to fuse into something that managed to be nasty AND useless.

Anonymous said...

for ex-communist read "someone who is a communists through and through since the earliest years but realised it wasn't popular with the voting public so toned down the rhetoric for the benefit of individual political advancement whilst maintaining a close affection for the cause". They learned everything from Neil Kinnock who "expelled Militant Tendency from the Labour Party" i.e. made the Marxist wing look less obvious.

CityUnslicker said...

Agree with all your comments. Andy has it right though - the worst of all world's loving big business and protectionism.

So much for the European Free market!

Anonymous said...

"they've combined the Authoritarian tendancies of the communists with the pro-big-business tendancies of the right": the technical term for that is Fascist. Not Nazi, of course; just Fascist.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I was marginally involved in one of Doha's predecessors known as the Kennedy Round (held in Geneva). I could not understand why all the ladies in the typing pool sniggered each time they had to type up the minutes of the meetings with the Canadians on raw furskins....

I wonder if they still discuss these things?

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - yes, everything with an import or export duty is discussed.

Anonymous said...

Dearieme: "the technical term for that is Fascist."

My thoughts exactly. Now if we could bring about the same fate for them as el duce...

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 8:00 pm

It is for that reason that our armed forces are kept continually overstretched and out of the country. Just as the Germans and the Italians needed to be rescued by an outside power from the governments that they had allowed to take power, so we in Britain now need to be rescued by an outside force. And there are none.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

"Still at least Europe is represented by one of our foremost minds and most capable leaders, Peter Mandelson. Surely if anyone can get an agreement going it is an ex-communist, who twice had to leave the UK government on sleaze grounds?"

Love it

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