What to say about the most recent collapse of the Doha Round? I feel like I've just gotten out of one of those relationships where you both knew it was over a year before it finally ended--practically relieved, really. It's been obvious to me since early 2007 that Doha wasn't going anywhere, and going through the motions had become a painful parody. The forward motion on trade has ground to a halt, because most trade in goods and services has been liberalised in the Western world. The remaining issues are either sacred cows, like agriculture, or require much deeper integration of sensitive areas like finance and law. Moreover, we're now at the point where poor nations can no longer simply free ride on rich country liberalization; to get further benefits from trade, they need to prise open their own markets, and few places have a political system capable of attacking those entrenched interests.
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