A beacon of multilateralism

The Financial Times reports that the largest single economic entity in the world is shirking its international obligations and alienating the rest of the world — again: A bid by World Trade Organisation members to breathe new life into stalled global trade talks has got off to a shaky start after a series of meetings ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry.
590585_933578317_farmsubsidies2.gif
590585_933578317_farmsubsidies2.gif

The Financial Times reports that the largest single economic entity in the world is shirking its international obligations and alienating the rest of the world -- again:

The Financial Times reports that the largest single economic entity in the world is shirking its international obligations and alienating the rest of the world — again:

A bid by World Trade Organisation members to breathe new life into stalled global trade talks has got off to a shaky start after a series of meetings this week in Geneva between the main protagonists failed to produce any new initiatives. In particular, European Union negotiators gave no sign of greater flexibility on phasing out farm export subsidies by a fixed date, which most WTO members see as essential to a successful conclusion of the Doha round. “We heard the same old story,” one trade diplomat said on Friday after two days of talks between the EU and the Group of 20 developing countries led by Brazil. “There wasn’t anything new.”…. The EU, the main user of export subsidies, has said it is prepared to consider a phase-out for commodities of interest to poorer nations, but not for all products. EU officials this week repeated their request for a list of products for consideration, but G20 nations maintain that a list is unnecessary because all the EU’s subsidised exports compete with those of developing countries.

UPDATE: I see from the comments that I’m being chided for not joining the BBC in blaming the United States for this state of affairs. Let me first stipulate that U.S. ag subsidies are an odious blight on our trade policy and should be eliminated as soon as possible. Let me then stipulate that, as I’ve said before, “if the U.S. commits a venal sin with its agricultural subsidies, then the European Union, Japan, South Korea, and Scandinavia are committing mortal sins with theirs.” Click here for further discussion on this topic. And, just to make sure everyone has the same facts on this, let’s reprint this Economist graph on ag subsidies:

farmsubsidies.gif

farmsubsidies.gif

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry. Twitter: @dandrezner

More from Foreign Policy

A photo illustration shows Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden posing on pedestals atop the bipolar world order, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Russian President Vladamir Putin standing below on a gridded floor.
A photo illustration shows Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden posing on pedestals atop the bipolar world order, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Russian President Vladamir Putin standing below on a gridded floor.

No, the World Is Not Multipolar

The idea of emerging power centers is popular but wrong—and could lead to serious policy mistakes.

A view from the cockpit shows backlit control panels and two pilots inside a KC-130J aerial refueler en route from Williamtown to Darwin as the sun sets on the horizon.
A view from the cockpit shows backlit control panels and two pilots inside a KC-130J aerial refueler en route from Williamtown to Darwin as the sun sets on the horizon.

America Prepares for a Pacific War With China It Doesn’t Want

Embedded with U.S. forces in the Pacific, I saw the dilemmas of deterrence firsthand.

The Chinese flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics at Beijing National Stadium on Feb. 4, 2022.
The Chinese flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics at Beijing National Stadium on Feb. 4, 2022.

America Can’t Stop China’s Rise

And it should stop trying.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on prior a meeting with European Union leaders in Mariinsky Palace, in Kyiv, on June 16, 2022.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on prior a meeting with European Union leaders in Mariinsky Palace, in Kyiv, on June 16, 2022.

The Morality of Ukraine’s War Is Very Murky

The ethical calculations are less clear than you might think.