Why is it so hard to get a global trade agreement?



Isn’t there an easier way to do this? Why is it so hard to get global agreement? It shouldn’t be this hard, should it? Can an agreement possibly be worth all this agony? Why doesn’t WTO look at shorter, simpler negotiations on just the key questions? Who wants to spend a whole decade in a battle over colored boxes?

The spat over who should take responsibility for lower ambitions at the Hong Kong ministerial conference has already started. USTR Portman is pointing the finger at China which has been relatively passive on multilateral issues. Tony Blair is about to tell to his fellow Europeans that they have billions of pounds of trade opportunities at stake that they might lose (my guess is that Chirac now has a

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