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How many readers were even aware that a meeting of trade minsters is happening in Geneva later this week? How many care? Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about the 2009 ministerial meeting headlined “to blog or not to blog…” because nothing was expected to happen, and nothing did. This year, I’m reverting to the original expression because it is (past) time for a decision on what to do with the Doha Round—finish it or bury it and move on.
I think few of us involved in the 2008 farm bill process would have thought the new farm bill could be even worse, but the agricultural committees seem to have found a way to hijack the supercommittee process to their own ends.
After years of delay, three U.S. trade agreements are finally down to the wire. President Obama has sent Congress legislation to implement long-delayed free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama. Congress is expected to vote on all three agreements, and an extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers displaced due to trade, on or about October 12, on the eve of a visit to the United States by South Korean President Lee Myung Bak.
I wrote here three years ago, during the last food price crisis, that corn-based ethanol subsidies were economically inefficient, environmentally unfriendly, and inequitable. So I listened with great interest yesterday to an NPR story on the likelihood that the ethanol subsidy will be eliminated as part of a budget deal.