Friday, November 17, 2006

Save yourself and go on without us!

We have all seen the war movies where under enemy fire a soldier gets wounded, falls to the floor and tells his comrades to go on without him. That is the best way I can describe the Doha trade round after Democrats have gained power in Washington.

Before the November elections the Doha round, which focuses on trade in agriculture and services, was already having its problems. Having over 100 countries trying to agree on a trade status is no easy feat when everyone is trying to maximize their comparative advantages. These disagreements are par for the course and after continuous meetings are usually worked out. However with Washington falling into Democrat’s hands and the anti-trade rhetoric already jumping out of their mouths, America has become the wounded soldier on the ground looking up at its trading comrades.

Though America has been an intricate part in trade negations in the WTO the world can’t, at least for now, count on America to be the free market proponents that the late Milton Friedman showed we could be. If the Chinas, Vietnams and Europe want to surpass America economically they should move on with the Doha round without us leaving us to die at our own hands. Maybe then will the next round of politicians be ready to go back to believing that only free markets create prosperity.

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