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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