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Policymakers and pundits are still scrambling to decipher what the results of the U.S. midterm elections mean for the U.S.’s role in the world. Caught in the middle of this is the question of global trade.
After the breakdown of WTO Doha Round negotiations this summer, some economists -- including IIE’s Fred Bergsten - are advocating the pursuit of regional or preferential trade agreements (PTAs) to further free trade while the WTO is stalled.
I am pleased to announce the release of the 2006 edition of the Commitment to Development Index. Each year the CDI rates and ranks 21 rich countries on how much their policies help or hurt poorer nations. The CDI assigns scores in seven policy areas (foreign aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology), with the average being the overall score.
While there is no particular reason that U.S. negotiators should make the first move to revive the Doha Round trade negotiations--Washington’s sins are not the greatest nor its offer the weakest--the U.S. should nonetheless lead and put the spotlight back where it belongs--on the E.U. and India. Given the ease with which the U.S. could improve its offer, it is nearly incomprehensible that the Americans chose instead to let the talks collapse in Geneva this past weekend.
In a hugely disappointing outcome, International trade negotiators made so little progress in Geneva this past weekend that they gave up and went home early. The lack of leadership was stunning and blame can be spread widely. Despite the great gains that India has reaped in recent years from globalization, its trade negotiator decided that a World Cup game was more important than arriving at a key negotiating session on time.