MORE ON THE EU: In

MORE ON THE EU: In other news, I’m shocked — shocked!! — to discover that the European Union proving to be a major stmbling block in the latest round of WTO talks. According to the Financial Times: “World Trade Organisation members on Monday expressed concern at the failure of farm trade negotiators to meet on ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

MORE ON THE EU: In other news, I'm shocked -- shocked!! -- to discover that the European Union proving to be a major stmbling block in the latest round of WTO talks. According to the Financial Times: "World Trade Organisation members on Monday expressed concern at the failure of farm trade negotiators to meet on Monday's deadline for setting guidelines for cuts in agricultural tariffs and subsidies. Trade diplomats vowed to continue working for a deal, if possible before September's critical ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, which is due to take stock of progress in the broader Doha global trade talks. However, they acknowledged there could be adverse repercussions on other areas of the talks, calling into question the round's ambitious three-year timetable that envisages completion in December 2004..... David Spencer, WTO ambassador for Australia, co-ordinator of the Cairns group of free-trading agricultural exporters, said: 'This is a serious setback. This inability to make progress will have implications for other areas of the negotiations and could constitute a serious setback for our objective of concluding the negotiations by 2005.'" He singled out the EU and Japan for blame, saying their farm trade reform proposals fell far short of the objectives set for the talks at their launch in Doha in November 2001." On the other hand, I must commend the European Union for adopting a more laissez-faire policy towards the airline sector than the United States. The FT again: "Europe's aviation industry has been told not to expect generous hand-outs because of the war in Iraq, even though the US is considering a multi-billion-dollar package to help ailing airlines. Ministers meeting in Brussels late last week backed the European Commission's drive to limit aid to the sector, despite an initiative by Greece, which holds the European Union presidency, to open the way for more generous loan guarantees.... The US Senate is contemplating a package of $1.5bn-$3bn to help its own industry. The Commission says this is 'regrettable', but argues the correct response is to create EU powers to levy penalties on 'unfair subsidies' elsewhere."

MORE ON THE EU: In other news, I’m shocked — shocked!! — to discover that the European Union proving to be a major stmbling block in the latest round of WTO talks. According to the Financial Times: “World Trade Organisation members on Monday expressed concern at the failure of farm trade negotiators to meet on Monday’s deadline for setting guidelines for cuts in agricultural tariffs and subsidies. Trade diplomats vowed to continue working for a deal, if possible before September’s critical ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico, which is due to take stock of progress in the broader Doha global trade talks. However, they acknowledged there could be adverse repercussions on other areas of the talks, calling into question the round’s ambitious three-year timetable that envisages completion in December 2004….. David Spencer, WTO ambassador for Australia, co-ordinator of the Cairns group of free-trading agricultural exporters, said: ‘This is a serious setback. This inability to make progress will have implications for other areas of the negotiations and could constitute a serious setback for our objective of concluding the negotiations by 2005.'” He singled out the EU and Japan for blame, saying their farm trade reform proposals fell far short of the objectives set for the talks at their launch in Doha in November 2001.” On the other hand, I must commend the European Union for adopting a more laissez-faire policy towards the airline sector than the United States. The FT again: “Europe’s aviation industry has been told not to expect generous hand-outs because of the war in Iraq, even though the US is considering a multi-billion-dollar package to help ailing airlines. Ministers meeting in Brussels late last week backed the European Commission’s drive to limit aid to the sector, despite an initiative by Greece, which holds the European Union presidency, to open the way for more generous loan guarantees…. The US Senate is contemplating a package of $1.5bn-$3bn to help its own industry. The Commission says this is ‘regrettable’, but argues the correct response is to create EU powers to levy penalties on ‘unfair subsidies’ elsewhere.”

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

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