Saturday, July 28, 2007


. Saturday, July 28, 2007

The WTO dispute settlement panel sides with Brazil (again) over the U.S. cotton subsidies. The U.S. plans to appeal in order to protect domestic cotton producers.

The House passes the new farm bill, thereby saying "screw you" to the rest of the world ("Last week, a coalition of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable, urged Congress to reject a farm bill that did not make major cuts in agricultural subsidies, so as to expedite a global trade deal benefiting manufacturers.")

Meanwhile, the U.S. and G-20 can't agree on the NAMA cuts in WTO negotiations either: "Brazil, India and others said in a joint statement that the [current] proposal does not have the potential to lead to a consensus. [It requires] them to make "severe cuts" in their industrial tariffs "to satisfy the commercial interests of the developed countries." For its part, the U.S. thought the proposal did not go far enough: it "does not provide the (necessary) magnitude of real new market access."

The bargaining theories I teach emphasize the importance of issue linkage in facilitating trade agreements. The U.S. and EU trade agricultural market access for NAMA. These bargaining models typically neglect what these events make clear: domestic politics make it really hard for governments to make these trades.


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