Tuesday, April 4, 2006

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Bill Thomas reads Doha its obituary

In a speech last month, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said that the Doha round was approaching a "moment of truth"

Christopher Swann and Edward Alden report in the Financial Times about what House Ways and Means Chair Bill Thomas told the truth to an audience at AEI about the future of U.S. trade policy:

Bill Thomas, President George W. Bush’s most important congressional ally on trade liberalisation, is urging the administration to focus its energy on concluding bilateral trade deals, warning on Monday that the Doha multilateral round of talks was heading for failure because of conflicts between the US and the European Union.

“The US and the EU have irreconcilable differences on trade, and when you have irreconcilable differences the best thing you can do is call it off,” said Mr Thomas, Republican chairman of the influential House ways and means committee, who will retire from Congress this year.

He also warned about the growing influence of protectionism in the US, saying the “anti-free trade forces” were poised to capture control of Congress in this year’s election.

The pessimistic conclusions from Mr Thomas, who has repeatedly come to the rescue of the Bush administration in pushing controversial trade deals through Congress, will not be reassuring to the administration’s efforts to conclude the Doha round negotiations.

That's the uderstatement of the day.

posted by Dan on 04.04.06 at 08:52 AM


The Bush administration needs to be focused on the coming collapse of the US auto industry and the on-going collapse of manufacturing jobs in the US.

Trade liberalization will wait a few years.

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 04.04.06 at 08:52 AM [permalink]

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