Crisis? Export it to the poor!
current trade negotiations did not get off the ground till after the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 in the US. For almost a year before the Doha talks were launched, there was not much progress on kicking off the kind of negotiations that the poor countries wanted: a genuine focus on livelihood and growth with equity. For most of 2001, the intransigence of developed countries had made any progress impossible. Even on September 1, 2001, a WTO mini-ministerial that was held in Mexico failed to resolve the impasse. But within weeks of the terrorist strike on the World Trade Centre in New York, the US and EU, then represented by Pascal Lamy, the current WTO chief, were pushing for a new round to revive the world economy from recession.
At that time, a sceptical African trade negotiator had pointed out that a majority of African economies had been in recession for about 10 to 20 years. “Do you think the current ‘recession’ affects us? The new round isn’t the answer to our recession.” He was voicing the view of some developing countries who felt the situation was being used to manipulate them into accepting a new round of trade liberalisation.
Similar concerns are being voiced now, too. (via Latha Jishnu: Have a crisis? Export it).
Kamal Nath will surely have prickly and stony path – if he wants to continue knocking at Western doors! The other option is to do a Third World trade agreement.
Anyway, bloated Government spending systems, a welfare state, declining productivity, aging populations, the last thing that the Third World needs to look at is a trade agreement with the West.