The Director general of WTO is reportedly threatening Ambassadors in Geneva with direct action. bq. Supachai Panitchpakdi, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, will take a more aggressive approach to chivvy governments into making progress in the stalled Doha world trade talks. bq. He said that unless WTO members’ negotiators showed more flexibility, he would go over their heads and deal directly with their ministers. (“Financial Times”:http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1073281284197&p=1012571727179) Experience gives us no reason to believe that that Ministers will be ‘more flexible’. There were dozens of Ministerial level consultations and informal meetings leading to the abortive CancZn meeting. None of them individually or in aggregate produced the necessary agreement.
Peter Gallagher is student of piano and photography. He was formerly a senior trade official of the Australian government. For some years after leaving government, he consulted to international organizations, governments and business groups on trade and public policy.
He teaches graduate classes at the University of Adelaide on trade research methods and the role of firms in trade and growth and tweets trade (and other) stuff from @pwgallagher