Friday, November 9, 2007
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An optimistic post on trade
It's no secret that I've been in a sour mood as of late on the future of U.S. trade policy. Today's New York Times story on the House's passage of the Peru FTA didn't cheer me up either, because the takeaway point is that its passage was the exception and not the rule.
Eoin Callan, however, lifts me from complete and total despair with this Financial Times story:
Diplomats from the US and European Union are laying the groundwork for an unprecedented round of bilateral bargaining in which all of the main transatlantic trade disputes would be put on the table and negotiated in one go.If this works -- and given the interest groups at play, I'd put the odds of success at about 35% -- then it's win-win-win-win-win.
Both the United States and European Union would score some policy victories, and remove some major irritants to the transatlatic relationship.
The business community on both sides of the Atlantic would benefit from greater policy certainty.
Consumers would gain from increased levels of exchange
The biggest winner, however, would likely be the WTO -- because it would save the dispute settlement body from having to decide cases that are way beyond its pay grade.posted by Dan on 11.09.07 at 08:16 PM
Yup, indeed it will be all round positive development. Otherwise imagine WTO ruling on Microsoft issues, the way EU reined in Mr. Softee. Quite unlikely. The smart comment of the blog is - disputes like that are 'way beyond the pay grade of WTO'. Don't try to tell that to the rambunctious Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath. It will probably result in he achieving two more notches of higher noise level.posted by: Umesh Patil on 11.09.07 at 08:16 PM [permalink]
If we do not address the distributional effects of trade then workers will address this at the polls, and we will have more Sherrod Brown-type politicians in Congress. Count on it.
I'm in Michigan today, which has lost manufacturing jobs in both automotive and non-automotive with no replacements. Flint has an unemployment rate of 17%.
But at least we have created plenty of people desperate enough to work at Wal-Mart.
Sometimes really smart people have tunnel vision.posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 11.09.07 at 08:16 PM [permalink]
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