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By Philippe Legrain ADD COMMENTS

Philip Stephens has written an excellent article in the FT about why the Doha breakdown matters. He concludes:

The collapse of Doha, however, speaks to the failure of both sides
to own up to the world as it is. On the side of the rich countries,
particularly the US but no less many European nations, there is a
refusal to acknowledge that globalisation no longer belongs to the
west. In previous trade rounds, the rich nations set the rules and the
rest could take it or leave it. No longer.

Equally, the new
powers now give the impression – and you see this as much in India as
China – that they want to be free riders. They are happy to profit from
the rules, but unwilling to support the architecture of the system.
Doha, in this respect, saw both sides in blindfolds.

The
implications reach well beyond trade. The parallel with the need to
strike a global bargain on climate change is the obvious one. But there
are a host of other areas – think of nuclear non-proliferation, energy
security, state failure, terrorism – where the habit of multilateralism
offers the only sensible answers. A trade deal in Geneva would have
offered a glimmer of hope that world leaders understand this.

Posted 31 Jul 2008 in Blog, Global Economy, Trade

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