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Various interesting things around the newspapers this morning. The President's startlingly sucessful approach to trade policy continued yesterday with the final collapse of the Doha round. We all knew it was coming, but its still disappointing. We can't be too partisan on this issue. Its deathly complicated, and not exactly anyone's fault in particular that it failed. As the Economist pointed out last month, the President pretty much signalled he'd given up on it when he moved Portman to OMB. (Given the failure, though, it is certainly legitimate to ask if the President's political decision to impose Steel tarrifs - which we know cost consumers millions of dollars - were worth the cost.) What we can say for sure is that the failure is a victory for fear over leadership; politicians in Europe, America and elsewhere have largely caved to their producer interests, rather than acting in the long-term interest of growth in the global economy. And, as the WAPO points out, it does tend to be exporters of commodity goods in the poorest countries that lose out most. Given the state the negotiations seem to be in, this means there is precious little chance of making progress until after the next election. With luck, though, that means a different party will be in charge.
Elsewhere, NDN's Globalization Initiative is planning to do more work on Intellectual Property in the future, an under covered political issue. To that extent, its good to see a piece in the FT this morning highlighting how Europeans are understanding that "Patents are key to taking on China."Given the current administrations poor record of prosecuting international IP issues through the WTO and elsewhere, we can only hope they might also begin to make protection of IP more of a priority.