Free trade is dead: victim of a poor economy

The World Trade Organization has called al any renewed discussions about expanding free trade. No one wants it now that the global economy is sick. Stephen Roach has been warning for months that this would be the likely result of global rebalancing and recession. Now, we are seeing he was correct.

World Trade Organization (WTO) chief Pascal Lamy has abandoned attempts to restart the world trade talks.

Mr Lamy has told ambassadors that he has decided there was not enough consensus among major economies to call new ministerial talks on a trade deal.

The news came after the WTO held intensive consultations with US, India, China, Brazil and the European Union…..

It is unclear how strongly the incoming Obama administration will back the trade talks….

Brazil’s foreign minister, Celso Amorim, appeared to blame the rich countries, and especially the US, for the failure.

“If there is failure or postponement, the most appropriate word that would apply would be greed,” he told reporters….

The Doha Round, which was launched in 2001, was intended to free world trade for the benefit of poor countries, and was particularly aimed at tackling barriers in agriculture.

But poor countries have been reluctant to open up their own agricultural and industrial sectors to free trade – and the growing economic slowdown is likely to make concessions even more difficult….

WTO abandons plan for trade talks – BBC News

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